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migsy

Dying Cat - Advice Please

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Tricky, my faithful cat of 15 years has mammary carcinoma. She recovered from major surgery last November but the tumours came back. She has shown a sudden deterioration since Friday and is no longer eating (and I don't think drinking now). Her breathing is rapid and shallow and I strongly suspect the cancer is in her lungs.

 

She seems peaceful and not in any obvious pain. She went out into the garden for a wee and a sit down this morning but she is very lethargic and quiet. She is sitting on the floor next to me now. Of course, I would prefer her to die peacefully at home but I don't want to let her suffer.

 

I don't think she is suffering right now but I hate seeing this fast and shallow breathing. What shall I do?

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Your cat sounds very like Toffee my cat who died in 2007. She had a mammary tumour removed about a year before she died. She was well until a sudden deterioation, she stopped eating and then drinking and gradually faded away over the course of about two weeks from her first showing signs of decline. The vet advised us in the final days that while ever she looked peaceful, we could leave her be , they gave her an antiflamitory injection and she died very peacefully a couple of days later purring and stretching her toes as we said goodbye. I was very glad that we were all able to say our own quiet goodbye to her, she was at least 19 and had lived with us for 17 years. She didn't seem to suffer, the only distress that she showed was when her legs gave out a few hours before she went, but she then settled quietly.

 

My thoughts are with you, I now have tears in my eyes remembering my lovely girl. :(

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Has your vet given any advice? I think for me it would depend on whether she was in pain, or likely to suddenly develop severe pain. It would be awful if she became worse in the middle of the night and you had no way of dealing with it. Also, can you be with her if this goes on for a long time, or will you have to leave her? What if she became incontinent, that could be very distressing for her if you weren't able to deal with it immediately.

 

On the other hand, if you think the end is near and she is not suffering, I wouldn't worry about the breathing - it's most likely that she is not very aware of her surroundings by now. It's a hard decision; much as I would have liked it, I have never been able to keep a cat at home till the end because the condition has usually been such that intervention was needed. Very sorry to hear of your dilemma, and I hope that her end is peaceful.

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Thanks everybody. I think I will call the vet and see what he says. She doesn't appear to be suffering so I will just keep an eye on her this evening and re-assess things in the morning.

I rescued her from a feral colony on a farm when she was a kitten. At the time I was suffering from depression and she really helped my recovery. She has been with me through several house moves, marriage, children, divorce and many other events. When I feel down she has always lay down beside me and purred. She is such a cheerful, gentle, cheeky cat. She has been a character in all the neighbourhoods I have lived in, rolling over for passing toddlers and making friends with other humans. She went missing twice for days on end. She has been an absolute star of a cat. I just want her to have a dignified end.

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I hope the vet has some good advice for you. This is a very hard time - I went through it just over a year ago with our Oliver (my profile pic) when he had a stomach tumor. He was due to go to the vet to be pts, but he died in the morning before he was due to go in. He had had a steroid injection a few weeks before, but he had lost so much weight and went off his food but still drank a bit of water. We also gave him water from a syringe at the end as he couldn't get up off the floor.

Sounds like you have had a good life together. I hope her time is peaceful.

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Oh I hope you managed to get some advice from your vet. I think we'd all like our pets to have a peaceful end, sometimes it can't always happen at home or the way we want it to.

 

Tricky sounds like a wonderful cat and I hope the end is how you want it to be. Sending lots of (((hugs))) to you all.

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Thanks everybody. The messages of support have really helped.

Tricky was PTS this morning. I decided that she was starting to suffer and I did not wish her to suffer any more. I am sure the suffering would have got worse. The vet said that the cancer had spread to her lungs and as a result, her lungs had filled up with fluid which was making it difficult for her to breathe. He said the best thing was to have her PTS. He could have drained the lungs but he said they would have quickly filled back up. I did not wish to put her through this procedure only for this to happen all over again.

She was a truly wonderful cat and she had the best life a cat can have. I have brought her home and she is wrapped in a pretty cloth in her bed and she is surrounded by flowers. We will bury her as a family this evening.

My poor little boys were so sad to see her demise. I will have to break the news to them later but I hope that they will feel relieved that she is at peace.

RIP Tricky.

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I am so so sorry to hear that you lost her but you did the right thing by her and it sounds like she had a wonderful live much loved by all her family. Tonight is going to be so sad for you and your boys so sending lots of hugs. Hopefully in time you will be able to think of her and smile at the lovely memories. xx

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Thanks guys. It was an awful day yesterday but now I can remember her at her best and not worry about her suffering. Luckily she was only unwell for a few days. We have buried her at the bottom of the garden (covered by a very heavy stone). Obviously we are still sad, but all feeling much better today. x

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