Well I feel like a giant turd!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jourdo, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. jourdo

    jourdo TFW2005 Supporter

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    Dec 24th - We are just finishing cooking Christmas dinner. Everyone is going to the kitchen to dish up. I take a moment to relax and hit the recliner. Pull the lever and.... MEOW! I hear a very unpleasant noise from underneath. While frozen in a state of fear, my brother in law helps move to allow the cat to escape. She runs up the stairs. I follow. After tearing up my bedroom to uncover her hiding spot, I take her down to the emergency Vet clinic.

    She seems to be moving around ok, just limping a bit. The vet thinks it may just be a soft tissue injury and to watch her for the next couple of days.

    Dec 26th - Kitty gets stuck on one of the stairs and does not move from that spot for quite a few hours. We wrangle her up and go back to the vet. They take an xray and her pelvis is broken. They keep her over-night and we pick her up the next morning with a schwack of pain medication. We talk about surgery vs cage rest. They want us back in a week to follow up.

    Yesterday - I bring kitty in for her follow up. She has been on strict cage rest since the last appointment. She has been eating/drinking well. No problems with the exits either. Well, at the follow-up a new xray is taken and apparently the fracture has shifted. They say surgery is likely now. They give me the specialists number and lots more pain medication.

    I've phoned the surgeons office to get some details about the procedure and will likely be booking the consultation for this. My wife is too upset to talk to the doctors about this, so I am the one who gets to ask the questions while at work... trying to coordinate everything.

    Here are the problems I am having:
    1. She is an older cat (definitely on the downward portion of the hill).
    2. She is an over-weight cat (our fault as much as hers -- but she is a nervous eater and porked out after our last cat died, we suspect she went through a little depression during that time).
    3. She is a smelly cat -- she has been since the day she was brought home. Never really cleaned herself properly. It is hard to have her crawling around you when all you can smell is ass. That and pinning her down on a regular basis to clean her is a fight every time.

    From what we have been told, we are looking at around $2K at least for the surgery (cost is therefore a factor). I worry about her going under the anesthesia (given her size and age). I worry about the recovery, especially with her weight issues. Issue number 3 does not seem to be getting better any time soon. How long can we expect her to live assuming everything is fine? What if there are complications? I know these are only questions the vet can answer, but I just need to throw them out there.

    I don't want to be one of those people, but I have some trouble justifying investing a large chunk of change into this. This is where the giant turd feelings are coming from.

    I know the vet will recommend the surgery as they would like to save the animal no matter what (they don't take cost into the equation -- which is the right way to treatment plan). I do the same thing with my job -- you give people a choice and they may not make the one you want them to... but ultimately it is their choice.

    She is a very loving cat when she wants to be. She is also a grumpy old bag when she wants to be.

    I know how retarded it is when people ask for medical advice here, and that is not the purpose. I don't really know the point of this thread... maybe more just to write out what I am thinking.

    We kind of need to shit or get off the pot here, as this is a quality of life type of thing for the kitty.

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

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    Sorry to hear that Jourdo, seems like a no win situation.

    When I was 20 I had 2 pet ferrets, one got really sick and we ended up spendeing 2000.00 on bills (coming from my GF's RRSP) to see if we could save it. long story short, it died. When the other one got sick a year later we just put it down...too much money on a old pet.

    Maybe a new kittie would help with the pain of loosing an old cat?

    Oh and don't feel bad, it wasn't your fault.
     
  3. CrypticIllusionist

    CrypticIllusionist Well-Known Member

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    Ouch, that sucks. I own a cat too and I love the little guy. But my cat is also not too long from passing on; we've had him for a very long time. I know the day he does die, I probably will tear up over it but I've also managed to accept that it's going to happen, soon, and I can't do much about it.
    Although it's true in your case that you can do something about it. However, if the loss of that chunk of money can inconvenience your life in any significant way, you may want to pass on spending it. Yes, it is a creature's life in your hands, but every living thing dies at some point and you just have to take the time to dust yourself off and move on.
    So, my impression is that you should just let nature take its course if you can't afford the operation in any easy way. If you can afford it, and suffer no major drawbacks, then maybe you should.
     
  4. Darkravager

    Darkravager Zombie Hunter

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    I know it's hard to hear, but it might be worthwile to think about putting it down and getting a new cat in a few months.

    Accidents like that happen, and it's sad. But you have to think about how the cat would live after the surgery. Would it really recover? Would it be worth the time, money, and effort for only a little more time with it?
     
  5. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    A few years ago I had a dog that was about 15 years old. He developed a freaky seizure where he would move his head and jaw in a very unnatural way and make a horrid coughing sound for a few seconds every few minutes.

    I took him to the vet, and he said it was likely a brain tumor. He prescribed some meds that didn't help at all; in fact it seemed to make it worse. I took him back to the vet a couple days later, and the vet said my only option was to take the dog to a clinic hundreds of miles away for a CAT scan, and he would probably undergo brain surgery. The cost would have been astronomical.

    I loved that dog, but there was no way I could go through all that. I had him put down later that day.

    I felt horrible about it, but his quality (and length) of life afterwards wouldn't have been worth it, to me or him. If he was a young dog, I may have reconsidered, but he was old and had a good life.

    Whatever you do, make sure it's right for the cat.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2008
  6. Prisoner1138

    Prisoner1138 TFW2005 Supporter

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    I've had a few pets over the years, and it just gets to a point where you have to stop and consider if it's really worth the expense with an older pet(cats in my case as well), to go through with such a treatment, and that's not even including the aspect of how well the pet will recover.
     
  7. Phy

    Phy I want... ROOM SERVICE!!

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    Geez, I'm sorry to hear that, dude. I hate even contemplating having to make the decision for my cat. I'm pretty sure pelvic surgery is a big deal in humans; I don't know if it's easier or harder on cats. The anatomy's different, but you can't ask a cat to limit her movement to let things heal, outside of keeping her caged.

    If the outlay on the surgery is going to squeeze you too much, I'd say your first duty is to the human part of your family. Otherwise, get the surgeon's opinion given your cat's age and weight issues and take it from there. They might not recommend the procedure on those grounds, even if they're not taking cost into account.

    When my cat got really sick this fall, I was lucky enough to be at the tail end of a trial vet insurance account, and I decided to extend his coverage in case he relapsed. (He hasn't, so far.) It's not terribly expensive, though it would probably be smarter to just sock away $50 a month into an emergency vet bill fund.
     
  8. Dayvcon

    Dayvcon Well-Known Member

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    i if anything like this would happen to my 14 year old cat it would be so painful but i know it would be time to let go.... even though nothing would replace her
     
  9. Talathia

    Talathia TFW's Cool Little Heathen

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    First off.. I'm so so so sorry this happened just.. god I could only imagine what I'd feel like if something happened to my cat. I mean I do visualize her as my daughter..

    Either or; you gotta do what you gotta do. All things considered... I mean you've stated above that she's a older overweight cat. And we don't know how she'll recover. I'd ask questions about the surgery.. If it's going to be too risky fo herr I'd say let her go.. otherwise give it a try I mean if she was a young in shape cat I'd be recommending you try the surgery.
    My 15/16 yo dog had to be put down because we couldn't let go for weeks and slowly but surely he had a stroke one night.. and was in pain the entire night until we could get him to a vet in the morning to have him out down. I was in too much of a mess and drugged (tranqs) to drive, and my Grandmother doesn't drive. So we waited for my uncle to come over the following morning.. I hope he forgives me for that..
    I know of a dog who had to have some kind of surgery done on her hip after she was -thrown from the back of a station wagon-. The family helped her walk again by carrying her towel that was under her and held her back end up... at least I think. I'll have to ask the owner tonight if she's around.
     
  10. TonyzCustomz

    TonyzCustomz Am I doin it rite? TFW2005 Supporter

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    Wow thats definitely sucks, not your fault though, cats are always in the wrong place and the wrong time. I had a my Dog since I was 12 and after a move she contracted some weird skin disease that was making her really sick, the doctor gave us all out options and we even spent about $800 on meds, but we could tell she was suffering and had her put down. I felt horrible but I knew that even if she got better her body was already beat to shit and it would just scar and more problems would eventually ensue. Not trying to say you should do the same but definitely take everything into consideration.
     
  11. edicius

    edicius I need a drink.

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    I've been there, though not to the tune of $2,000. When my pet rat Chloe died a number of months back, I spent probably close to $1,000 on treatment for her up to that point. When her sister starting displaying the exact same symptoms in November, we knew that she had maybe a week, tops. So we had her put down that day. Rough, but we knew it was better for her, especially since she was older, in rat years.

    Meanwhile, my parents' dog had back surgery a number of years back, to the tune of $4,000. She doesn't really have use of her back legs, but she gets around just fine (with the occasional "accident" due to not-as-good motor control back there).

    Basically, if you think that this will affect the cat's quality of life in a very negative fashion...it might be time to make the choice. A lot of it depends on the cat's personality, I'd think. Do you think this cat would take well to surgery and would act accordingly to let it heal properly afterwards?
     
  12. Jarodimus

    Jarodimus the guy with that scan Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    One of our cats got sick last year. She had been a butterball ever since she was spayed, but then lost weight over the course of a few months, down to about ideal weight (~8#) by her spring checkup. They ran tests looking for thyroid and kidney problems, diabetes, and leukemia -- all normal. She was still acting well, and was playing as much at 8 years old as she had as a kitten, so we were reassured.

    But the weight loss continued, and by summer she was down to 4-1/2 pounds and everything she ate went straight through her. Another blood cell count was abnormal, but just barely. They said she most likely had either food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, or widespread GI lymphoma. (Apparently, cats tend to get layered lymphoma throughout their intestines, rather than in big tumors like people do.) We tried food specifically for allergies with no improvement. A new vet at our office wanted to refer us to a specialty vet so she could have an intestinal scope to get biopsies -- it was going to be $1500+ just to walk in the door. We opted not to go.

    Even if they had diagnosed her with cancer, we weren't going to make her suffer through chemo and radiation. (Plus, our vet said he really hadn't seen better results with full treatment compared to steroids alone.) We tried the steroids (would've helped with allergies or inflammatory bowel disease, too), but they didn't make any difference. We ended up having her put to sleep in mid-July. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, and I'm not exaggerating one bit. But I feel we did what we could for her without putting her through a lot of suffering that she wouldn't've understood.

    I don't know if this helps you make a decision, jourdo, but I understand where you're coming from.
     
  13. Lance Halberd

    Lance Halberd oh hai

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    Put the cat down. The expensive surgery could make your cat worse, given her age and other health problems. Plus, if she's on the downward slope as you said, it's not going to get any better for her, only more expensive for you.
     
  14. pscoop

    pscoop Dead inside

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    This is true and most important.

    I don't envy you, I have been there. If the money is not the issue you have to think of how the cat's life will be after surgery. Good luck, it's not an easy decision, do what's best for the cat.
     
  15. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    I love my cat, and my dog--more'n I loved my wife, matter of fact. I think I have an idea what this must be like for you.

    I know writing stuff out helps sometimes, and I'm betting you already know what the right answer is, for the cat medically and for you personally.
     
  16. Talathia

    Talathia TFW's Cool Little Heathen

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    Same here, sides the wife part. Love my cat and dog more then anyone else. They never nag or bitch or complain. You come home from work and you're not floored with drama and meaningless BS.. just licks and nuzzles and they're just so happy to see you- that's all that matters. And if you're upset they stick around you ":}!! Don't be upset you have ME!"



    And.. just.. thinking it over. Dude you should do what you have to do. What's best for her. I mean if it's going to cause her more pain then why make her suffer? It's not your fault, not at all. I hope you're not beating yourself over it :{..

    I'd rescue a cat from the pound a bit afterward.. not to replace her but to fill the void.. kind of? Something there to ease the pain. Hell.. my brother and I bought a new dog long -before- we put Sammy down. I mean we knew Sammy would be going sooner or later and it would be easier for us emotionally if the new dog was already there after the old one had passed. Sadly.. our new dog and our cat looked for him for weeks ._. <3

    If it's any condolence or somewhat.. even though this boarders on the line of religion, I'll pray that Bast looks after her.
     
  17. Foster

    Foster Super Mod

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    :(  Sorry to hear it. Not your fault, and I echo what SC and MMM have said.
     
  18. beatrush

    beatrush Collects too many things

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    From experience, I know how you feel about that 2k vet bill. I think in the last 5 years I put about $7K into vet bills for my dog.

    But at this point, you do have a tough decsion. My dog is 14 and is on the downhill slide as well. He recently lost his hearing like a month ago and he cannot hear us unless we yell at him. I shudder to think if he gets hurt again because he will probably have to be put down. Most vets warn that if an older pet gets "knocked out" sometime their heart slows down so much they stop breathing.

    Tough choice, If kitty could survive the operation and have another 1-3 years to go, Id say go for it, But if kitty is falling apart like a stack of jengas, might be better to put her down.
     
  19. Optimus-JD

    Optimus-JD Team Laser Explosion!

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    If the quality of life for the cat is going to be crap, do the cat a favor and send her on. It's the best selfless thing you can do for the animal. Cats in particular can be in extreme pain and yet act normal when their people are around. We had a cat with Breast cancer over a year ago. We invested a lot of money in two surgeries for something that was just growing back almost immediately. She was locked up in a bathroom during her healing and got infections both times. I set up a camera in the room and watched her. When no-one was in the room she was walking on eggshells and acted like she was in misery. Once we stepped in the room she would talk, rub, and walk around like everything was fine. Long story short, do the right thing for her.
     
  20. Chaos Muffin

    Chaos Muffin Misadventure Veteran

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    You can have my cat, it keeps shitting everywhere. It's about to die

    She's part Mancoon
     

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