Author Topic: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?  (Read 3019 times)

Sibley

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Title is the question.

My nearly 20 year old cat, Sibley, is basically terminal (blind, deaf, arthritic, heart problem, kidneys). She's having a rough time right now, and while I'd love to have her forever, that's not possible. Last week, she spend Wed - Friday unable to walk due to the heart issue. Then she was constipated, and that started getting better last night. This morning, she's having trouble walking again (heart issue).

She's not in a ton of pain, but when she's having trouble walking/unable to walk that starts crossing off most items on the QOL list. Yes, I have a written list.

So, how many bad days is ok?

Kris

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2019, 08:21:22 AM »
This is one of the hardest thing about being a pet owner.

Honestly, in my experience, no matter what decision I have made, I still have lingering grief about it.

To me, it is really about the pain/comfort continuum. Is Sibley able to have a good part of her day in relative comfort? When she's relaxing/sleeping, does she seem okay? Does she still eat relatively normally? Does she respond to pets and affection with happiness?

Not eating, not wanting to do things like get up or walk because of pain, vocalizations that indicate suffering, hiding/avoiding contact -- all those things indicate to me that it's time to make some decisions. (Note to other readers: of course I'm talking about an animal nearing end of life here, where the pet has already been to doctors, conditions diagnosed, and one knows the issue is a terminal condition or just old age.)


Polaria

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2019, 08:25:05 AM »
It's better to let go a tad too early than a tad too late. We all have that hope they will go in their sleep sadly it is rarely the case.
I commiserate.

Kris

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2019, 08:28:29 AM »
It's better to let go a tad too early than a tad too late.

I definitely agree with this.

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2019, 08:32:49 AM »
So sorry for both you and your kitty. Cats are great stoics, so you can never really know how much pain they are in. What I would watch for are refusing even favorite foods and treats and self-isolation. In the wild cats wander off to die alone. If you see signs of that type of behavior then unfortunately the end is near.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2019, 09:25:41 AM »
So sorry for both you and your kitty. Cats are great stoics, so you can never really know how much pain they are in. What I would watch for are refusing even favorite foods and treats and self-isolation. In the wild cats wander off to die alone. If you see signs of that type of behavior then unfortunately the end is near.

This.   

She has had a good life. The last gift we can give our pets is being ushered out of life painlessly and lovingly when the bad times are just too much.

It is hard for us - I've had to make that decision 6 times now (3 cats, 3 dogs) and it is never easy.  Jedi hugs if you want them.

Dave1442397

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2019, 09:33:23 AM »
It's better to let go a tad too early than a tad too late. We all have that hope they will go in their sleep sadly it is rarely the case.
I commiserate.

I agree. We had a similar situation with our cat - she was probably around 16 years old at the time (rescue cat, so not sure), and had been losing weight steadily for months. She also had diarrhea and stopped using the litter box (she did use a section of the basement as her toilet area, so I would cover it in fresh newspaper every day). At her last vet visit, they said her quality of life was going down fast, and it wouldn't be fair to keep her in that condition. We scheduled an appointment and said goodbye.


Sibley

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2019, 10:18:46 AM »
This is one of the hardest thing about being a pet owner.

Honestly, in my experience, no matter what decision I have made, I still have lingering grief about it.

To me, it is really about the pain/comfort continuum. Is Sibley able to have a good part of her day in relative comfort? When she's relaxing/sleeping, does she seem okay? Does she still eat relatively normally? Does she respond to pets and affection with happiness?

Not eating, not wanting to do things like get up or walk because of pain, vocalizations that indicate suffering, hiding/avoiding contact -- all those things indicate to me that it's time to make some decisions. (Note to other readers: of course I'm talking about an animal nearing end of life here, where the pet has already been to doctors, conditions diagnosed, and one knows the issue is a terminal condition or just old age.)

That's what makes this weird. She's really not in that much pain, and we're controlling the arthritis pain decently. The main problem is that her blood pressure is dropping, which makes her legs not work well. It's not that she's unwilling to eat, she literally can't get to the food. Same with litterbox - can't get in/out. Basically, she's partially paralyzed while this is happening.

She's very happy to be petted and be cuddled. She'll be in a comfy bed and be perfectly happy to sleep there all day (this is normal), but because she lacks mobility it takes away the choice to just sleep in that bed all day. She's on some meds that in theory should help, but realistically they don't seem to be doing so.

Vet wanted to see her Saturday for a recheck. I'll discuss and decide then.

iris lily

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2019, 11:37:24 AM »
It's better to let go a tad too early than a tad too late.

I definitely agree with this.
Yes.

All of the regrets I have about pet euthanasia are about waiting too long. Once you start asking the question you ask, you are well into the the continuum of ďtime to send cat to Kitty jeaven. ď and cats are so good about hiding disability.


fuzzy math

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2019, 02:28:51 PM »
This is one of the hardest thing about being a pet owner.

Honestly, in my experience, no matter what decision I have made, I still have lingering grief about it.

To me, it is really about the pain/comfort continuum. Is Sibley able to have a good part of her day in relative comfort? When she's relaxing/sleeping, does she seem okay? Does she still eat relatively normally? Does she respond to pets and affection with happiness?

Not eating, not wanting to do things like get up or walk because of pain, vocalizations that indicate suffering, hiding/avoiding contact -- all those things indicate to me that it's time to make some decisions. (Note to other readers: of course I'm talking about an animal nearing end of life here, where the pet has already been to doctors, conditions diagnosed, and one knows the issue is a terminal condition or just old age.)

Is it syncope (passing out)? I had a cat with heart problems and if she got stressed out she'd pass out and lay on her side panting and unable to get up. we put her on meds for a couple months, but she was showing other signs she was unhappy and we put her down.
If it is syncope she's at risk of sudden death. It's not a great way to go laying there panting panicked and unable to move. I'd say it's time. Your kitty has had a great run and you can spare her from the worst of the days to come.
That's what makes this weird. She's really not in that much pain, and we're controlling the arthritis pain decently. The main problem is that her blood pressure is dropping, which makes her legs not work well. It's not that she's unwilling to eat, she literally can't get to the food. Same with litterbox - can't get in/out. Basically, she's partially paralyzed while this is happening.

She's very happy to be petted and be cuddled. She'll be in a comfy bed and be perfectly happy to sleep there all day (this is normal), but because she lacks mobility it takes away the choice to just sleep in that bed all day. She's on some meds that in theory should help, but realistically they don't seem to be doing so.

Vet wanted to see her Saturday for a recheck. I'll discuss and decide then.

MasterStache

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2019, 05:03:52 AM »
It's better to let go a tad too early than a tad too late.

I definitely agree with this.
Yes.

All of the regrets I have about pet euthanasia are about waiting too long. Once you start asking the question you ask, you are well into the the continuum of ďtime to send cat to Kitty jeaven. ď and cats are so good about hiding disability.

Agree as well. We currently have an almost 14 year old cat who has been in liver failure for 3 years now. Hard to believe. The cat takes daily medication and has to be administered an appetite stimulant once or twice per week or he will literally starve himself to death. But other than that his quality of life seems good. He doesn't get sick very often, is active etc. WE keep a close eye on him and keep up regular vet visits ot monitor his levels. As soon as we see any signs of quality of life degradation we know it will be time. The cat just keeps fighting though. He has lived a good life.   

Sibley

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2019, 06:07:54 PM »
Well, decision is made. Sibley's last vet trip is on Saturday. She appears to agree, considering that she's not eating well. She's comfortable, and I'm spending as much time as possible with her (she's happiest with me).

Someone asked if it's syncope - no. She's fully conscious, just doesn't have full control over her legs and they're quite weak. It comes and goes, but at this point it's just how severe the lack is, it hasn't subsided completely since Monday. We never did extensive testing to determine what the problem is, but I'm guessing some form of progressive heart failure or disease, given we've gone from first noting a minor problem to this in less than 6 months.

On a lighter note, you might want to buy stock in whoever makes kleenix, because I'm going through a lot.

partgypsy

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2019, 08:13:25 PM »
This is a really hard thing. I have the same situation. My cat will be 20 this summer. The past 2 years she has been in decline, in the sense she keeps losing weight, sleeps more. She also has some renal insufficiency, has lost all but one tooth. She has bouts of not doing as well including having accidents, but then getting better. So she got out of one bout was doing decent for a few months, but now is back in another one. But she's still eating and getting around, and purrs when I pick her up. The whole, "you will just know when it's time", is bunk, at least for me.   
 

Seems like you have come to a decision, but from what you have said, I agree it is time. I'm sorry. Give 'em good cuddles till the end!
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 08:20:27 PM by partgypsy »

Sibley

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2019, 08:34:38 AM »
This is a really hard thing. I have the same situation. My cat will be 20 this summer. The past 2 years she has been in decline, in the sense she keeps losing weight, sleeps more. She also has some renal insufficiency, has lost all but one tooth. She has bouts of not doing as well including having accidents, but then getting better. So she got out of one bout was doing decent for a few months, but now is back in another one. But she's still eating and getting around, and purrs when I pick her up. The whole, "you will just know when it's time", is bunk, at least for me.   
 

Seems like you have come to a decision, but from what you have said, I agree it is time. I'm sorry. Give 'em good cuddles till the end!

Write a list of the key things that indicate she's happy. Things she can do, or things that shouldn't be happening. Then start crossing things off the list. I've now crossed of 9 of the 10 things on Sibley's list. When I made the decision, 8 items were crossed off (she's not eating well now, which was on the list). These were things like harassing me for my breakfast, able to get on my bed, wanting pets from a specific person, sleeping in a specific location, not having accidents/soiling herself, etc. These are the little things that mean she's feeling ok and is happy. Eventually, when I write the list for Arwen, it'll be very different. Because she's a very different cat.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2019, 08:44:09 AM »
Not eating is a very bad sign.   It sounds like she is ready to go, so glad you have already made the vet appointment.  It is so hard, we don't want to lose them from our lives.  Jedi hugs.

G-dog

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2019, 09:06:02 AM »
Quote
This is one of the hardest thing about being a pet owner.

Honestly, in my experience, no matter what decision I have made, I still have lingering grief about it.
.

This. So much.  I try to convince myself to not regret or second-guess the decision, but that uncertainty still lingers.

Iím doing doggie hospice now. Last week I was crying every day thinking we needed to make the appointment. Then she improved and has been happier and bouncier then she has been for a few months. This rollercoaster is draining.  This last downturn included refusing food. Which may have been a protest against taking pills. Or not. I will never know.

But refusing food, not able to get comfortable, poor sleep or only sleeping, body posture, interest in favorite things, as well as symptoms of disease progression are all on my list.  Sounds like you have coming to a decision. But I think 3-5 days is about my limit if I am seeing one to a few of these signs. The more signs, the shorter the timeline.

Iím sorry you are dealing with this.


pbkmaine

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2019, 09:09:50 AM »
Euthanasia means ďgood deathĒ, and it is the last great gift we can give them. Our last two cats died in our arms, being stroked and thanked for their presence in our lives. We were so relieved and so sad at the same time. Hugs to you.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2019, 10:39:19 AM »
Euthanasia means ďgood deathĒ, and it is the last great gift we can give them. Our last two cats died in our arms, being stroked and thanked for their presence in our lives. We were so relieved and so sad at the same time. Hugs to you.

So much this. All my dogs and cats have died comfortably, cuddled while the drugs were given.  Fast and painless, not long drawn out and in pain.  My vet here is really good about this.

partgypsy

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2019, 10:58:50 AM »
Looking at items of list whether happy or unhappy, makes me realize, that I am going to have to make that "last appointment". It's not just the accidents but that she is hungry but when I put food or cream down she only eats a little and then stops. That she can't jump into the tub to drink from the faucet or water in the shower. That she's no longer cleaning/grooming herself and sometimes holds her body in a position, that makes me feel she is not entirely comfortable.
The thing is, is if I tell my kids my thoughts they will have a big uproar and especially my youngest, tell me not to do it. So, I will share that she is not doing well and I'm taking her to the vet, but not more. Because otherwise it will be too difficult.

These are the kids when a rat was killed in a rat trap at the family cabin, the youngest started bawling, and they insisted on giving the rat a proper funeral and burial : (   

RetiredAt63

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2019, 11:59:15 AM »
Looking at items of list whether happy or unhappy, makes me realize, that I am going to have to make that "last appointment". It's not just the accidents but that she is hungry but when I put food or cream down she only eats a little and then stops. That she can't jump into the tub to drink from the faucet or water in the shower. That she's no longer cleaning/grooming herself and sometimes holds her body in a position, that makes me feel she is not entirely comfortable.
The thing is, is if I tell my kids my thoughts they will have a big uproar and especially my youngest, tell me not to do it. So, I will share that she is not doing well and I'm taking her to the vet, but not more. Because otherwise it will be too difficult.

These are the kids when a rat was killed in a rat trap at the family cabin, the youngest started bawling, and they insisted on giving the rat a proper funeral and burial : (

It's hard with kids.  We waited longer than we wanted to with our first dog, because we had to let DD see on her own that it was time for him to go.  Can you gently point out to them all her issues and problems and that her life has become  horrible?  That keeping her alive in pain and unhappiness is our selfishness at not wanting to lose her?  That the best gift you can all give her now is to let her go painlessly and peacefully?

And if they wanted to give a rat a funeral, then they will definitely want to give her a funeral.

partgypsy

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2019, 02:20:10 PM »
Well, took her to vet, was there, 2 hours? Ended up bringing her back, since there are a couple things we haven't tried we can do. The vet thinks the symptoms have to do with her kidney disease. At this point they didn't draw blood, since the degree of the KD doesn't change her treatment (it's really more if she perks up after we do these things). They think she is nauseous due to the CKD. She got more fluids.
Trying a powder on her food that should reduce her phophate absorption/reduce phosphorus levels in her blood, a pill to help with her nausea (if I can get her to take it), more kidney disease food. As she is not able to properly groom herself they recommended we give her warm sponge baths. I don't know how much more of this I can do (in particular the cleaning up after her). But the kids are happy I brought her home, and  at the very least they will get a little more time with her.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2019, 02:41:28 PM by partgypsy »

G-dog

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2019, 03:25:54 PM »
Gee @partgypsy - Iím not sure what to hope for in this case. But I can tell you that the caregiving I need to do with my OncoDog is really wearing me down. Itís been a year since her diagnosis. Most of it has been very good (with some bad parts too), but we are butting up against the tough stuff for the last 3-4 months. Itís draining.

partgypsy

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2019, 08:17:46 PM »
I agree, it is.

Sibley

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2019, 08:52:03 AM »
Well, Sibley's passing was peaceful. Bedtime was rough. I've spent 20 years with Sibley sleeping with me, and Arwen (other cat) doesn't much. I'll adjust, and will just go through a lot of kleenix for a while. Arwen has never been an only, and she's been lowkey stressed due to Sibley's decline. So we both need to come to a new normal, and it'll take a while.

Cassie

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2019, 10:41:22 AM »
I am so sorry for your loss. Itís so hard to let our best friends go. We have lost 3 dogs and 2 good friends in 2 years. We have 3 dogs and one is terminal with kidney disease at 15.  I have never had a dog stop eating no matter how bad off they are.  Mandy has lost half her body weight and is on pain medication.  I think we will have to make the decision soon. She was our first dog and my husbandís favorite.

pbkmaine

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2019, 12:14:00 PM »
Well, Sibley's passing was peaceful. Bedtime was rough. I've spent 20 years with Sibley sleeping with me, and Arwen (other cat) doesn't much. I'll adjust, and will just go through a lot of kleenix for a while. Arwen has never been an only, and she's been lowkey stressed due to Sibley's decline. So we both need to come to a new normal, and it'll take a while.

I am so sorry. Everyone grieves differently, of course, but the only thing that got my husband through the death of our cat Pudd was adopting another cat, who immediately became besties with our kitten, Chloe.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2019, 12:25:17 PM »
So sorry.

G-dog

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2019, 12:40:39 PM »
Well, Sibley's passing was peaceful. Bedtime was rough. I've spent 20 years with Sibley sleeping with me, and Arwen (other cat) doesn't much. I'll adjust, and will just go through a lot of kleenix for a while. Arwen has never been an only, and she's been lowkey stressed due to Sibley's decline. So we both need to come to a new normal, and it'll take a while.

I am so sorry. Everyone grieves differently, of course, but the only thing that got my husband through the death of our cat Pudd was adopting another cat, who immediately became besties with our kitten, Chloe.

Pudd - what a cute name.  I tend to want to wait, otherwise it feels like Iím treating pets as fungible, which bothers me.

pbkmaine

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2019, 12:45:36 PM »
We looked at it differently. There were unhappy cats sitting in shelters, and we had a hole in our lives one of those cats could fill.

G-dog

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2019, 12:53:11 PM »
We looked at it differently. There were unhappy cats sitting in shelters, and we had a hole in our lives one of those cats could fill.

No one answer for everyone, or for every time this happens.  Sounds like your plan worked perfectly.

There are certainly a glut of cats in shelters.  Boo. 😟


Sibley

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2019, 02:17:09 PM »
Any new cat decisions will be based on Arwen's needs. She doesn't typically like other animals, so she'd need to be unhappy enough to decide to accept a friend. Right now, she's mostly confused.

G-dog

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2019, 06:25:14 PM »
Any new cat decisions will be based on Arwen's needs. She doesn't typically like other animals, so she'd need to be unhappy enough to decide to accept a friend. Right now, she's mostly confused.

Poor Arwen, even if she didnít love having Sibley there, that was still the normal state.  I do worry about how our old(er) Dog will handle it when OncoDog is gone. Itís clear old dog has separation anxiety, but now I am home with the dogs all day. Still, he likes having a little fuzzy friend.  Though sheís a bit mean to him.

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2019, 06:35:35 PM »
My 2yo Maltese freaks out if he doesnít have a person or dog. My older one is dying so we got him a buddy 3 months ago so he will be fine when she dies. Some animals donít want a buddy.

partgypsy

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2019, 07:48:29 AM »
Well, Sibley's passing was peaceful. Bedtime was rough. I've spent 20 years with Sibley sleeping with me, and Arwen (other cat) doesn't much. I'll adjust, and will just go through a lot of kleenix for a while. Arwen has never been an only, and she's been lowkey stressed due to Sibley's decline. So we both need to come to a new normal, and it'll take a while.

I'm sorry, I think it will feel better as time goes on. I was struck at how much our dog Betty was affected by our older dog's passing. Even though Chuck was on last legs for a long time, when after he was gone she visibly seemed withdrawn. I think it took a month for her to be more like herself. 

Sibley

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2019, 09:43:46 AM »
Any new cat decisions will be based on Arwen's needs. She doesn't typically like other animals, so she'd need to be unhappy enough to decide to accept a friend. Right now, she's mostly confused.

Poor Arwen, even if she didnít love having Sibley there, that was still the normal state.  I do worry about how our old(er) Dog will handle it when OncoDog is gone. Itís clear old dog has separation anxiety, but now I am home with the dogs all day. Still, he likes having a little fuzzy friend.  Though sheís a bit mean to him.

Sibley and Arwen weren't bonded, but were friends. Today's the first day she's home alone all day, so we will find out how she does. She was fine yesterday, if mad because I was cleaning.

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2019, 11:42:31 AM »
Thinking about you. I'm glad Sibley passed in peace.

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #36 on: April 30, 2019, 12:47:21 PM »
I'm so sorry for your loss. When I was going through this heartbreaking decision, my vet asked, "Does he have good days and bad days...or bad days and worse days?" And I had my answer.

I only hope that if I get that sick, that euthanasia will be more socially acceptable. We should treat our suffering human companions as humanely as we are allowed to treat our fur babies.

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #37 on: April 30, 2019, 01:12:00 PM »
I saw this somewhere, and thought of you

It is not just that animals make the world more scenic or picturesque. The lives of animals are woven into our very being - closer than our own breathing - and our soul will suffer when they are gone.

Gary A. Kowalski
 

use2betrix

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #38 on: April 30, 2019, 06:21:24 PM »
So sorry for your loss, but 100% agree with your decision..

A couple years ago we had to put my 13 year old lab down pretty suddenly. I had him since I was 16, he lived with me in my apartment through college and across many many states and homes since then. Itís been two years and he is still the lock screen on my phone (despite getting another dog a couple months after). It was the hardest thing of my entire life. I was 29, and I could probably count on one hand the number of times I had cried in the decade prior. After he passed I cried several times daily for several weeks. Even occasionally for the following 6 months.

There is one quote that I saved a few years before he passed, knowing it was perfect and something that I would always want to keep in mind when he was gone..

ďTo end a pets suffering, we must first choose to accept our own.Ē

dougules

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2019, 03:33:15 PM »
How are you doing?

This thread was hard to read because we lost our old lady a bit back.  It's been two years, but it's still occasionally makes me tear up.  It's a good reminder to appreciate our new little hellions, though. 

dougules

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2019, 03:47:57 PM »
We looked at it differently. There were unhappy cats sitting in shelters, and we had a hole in our lives one of those cats could fill.

Yes, but please make sure you get through the grieving process before you think about another cat.  We got a new cat only 3 weeks after the old lady left us.  It was a mistake, although I'd do it over again if I had to because he was sick and probably would have died in the shelter.   

Cassie

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2019, 10:11:25 PM »
Everyone is different. We have sometimes headed to the shelter right after helping a dog to the rainbow bridge. Itís the greatest honor you give the ones that have passed.

libertarian4321

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2019, 12:11:20 AM »
I know it's a hard decision to make, but I think you made a good decision in not waiting too long. 

We (wife and I) have, in the past, have had a tendency to wait too long, trying everything to extend life, and honestly, we probably would have been better off just letting go a couple of weeks earlier.  Less stress on the pet, less stress on us, and less spent on heroic measures to extend life. 

I say this after multiple visits to the vet to fix an eye problem with a ~17 year old dog this past week.  He's not done yet, he still gets around well, and occasionally shows bouts of high spiritedness.  But he has all kinds of age related problems.  I'm sure we'll be making the same decision at some point this year.

dougules

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2019, 11:23:29 AM »
I know it's a hard decision to make, but I think you made a good decision in not waiting too long. 

We (wife and I) have, in the past, have had a tendency to wait too long, trying everything to extend life, and honestly, we probably would have been better off just letting go a couple of weeks earlier.  Less stress on the pet, less stress on us, and less spent on heroic measures to extend life. 

I say this after multiple visits to the vet to fix an eye problem with a ~17 year old dog this past week.  He's not done yet, he still gets around well, and occasionally shows bouts of high spiritedness.  But he has all kinds of age related problems.  I'm sure we'll be making the same decision at some point this year.


It makes it worse even, as was said earlier, that cats are great stoics.  Our old cat probably had cancer, but even the vet didn't have more than a vague suspicion with her at the stage she only had a week left.  We took her in to the emergency vet when we noticed a little blood in her urine and she had an odd shakiness.  She was still walking around mostly normally, but the blood results came back saying that she shouldn't even be conscious.  It made it so much more difficult to make that decision when on the outside it looked like she wasn't doing that bad. 

Anybody with cats should be aware that they are shockingly good at appearing well when they are very seriously ill. 

partgypsy

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2019, 11:37:50 AM »
That's why I'm worried about my cat. Because she is -needy. Which is very unlike her. She wants to be around me all the time. Ostensibly for me to feed her, but even after I do that, 5 minutes later she comes right back. She will let me hold her -indefinitely, and that other than when she sleeps, seems to be on the side of uncomfortable. My kids are super trying see if we can keep her going! but from her behavior I feel like she is trying to tell me that she doesn't feel good anymore.  At the same time, and I know this is totally superficial, I have to bring myself to cuddle her. She constantly drools, her hair is matted again with this dark grease like stuff, and just stinks. I can smell her when I walk into the door : (

But, she is still getting around, and eating and drinking some. The next thing I need to decide, should I schedule this grooming appt that is 2 weeks out so she can get an actual bath? Two weeks seems far away because of the way she is, but I think I will.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 11:48:37 AM by partgypsy »

pbkmaine

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #45 on: May 02, 2019, 11:42:34 AM »
That's why I'm worried about my cat. Because she is -needy. Which is very unlike her. She wants to be around me all the time. Ostensibly for me to feed her, but even after I do that, 5 minutes later she comes right back. She will let me hold her -indefinitely, and that other than when she sleeps, seems to be on the side of uncomfortable. My kids are super trying see if we can keep her going! but from her behavior I feel like she is trying to tell me that she doesn't feel good anymore.  At the same time, and I know this is totally superficial, I have to bring myself to cuddle her. She constantly drools, her hair is matted again with this dark grease like stuff, and just stinks. I can smell her when I walk into the door : (

But, she is still getting around, and eating and drinking some. The next thing I need to decide, should I schedule this grooming appt that is 6 weeks out so she can get an actual bath? Two weeks seems far away but if I don't schedule it and then she is still around I will be kicking myself.

You can take a warm damp washcloth with just a tiny bit of soap on it, and stroke her with that. Itís likely that she is unable to groom herself, and this will help her.

pbkmaine

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partgypsy

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #47 on: May 02, 2019, 11:58:48 AM »
That's why I'm worried about my cat. Because she is -needy. Which is very unlike her. She wants to be around me all the time. Ostensibly for me to feed her, but even after I do that, 5 minutes later she comes right back. She will let me hold her -indefinitely, and that other than when she sleeps, seems to be on the side of uncomfortable. My kids are super trying see if we can keep her going! but from her behavior I feel like she is trying to tell me that she doesn't feel good anymore.  At the same time, and I know this is totally superficial, I have to bring myself to cuddle her. She constantly drools, her hair is matted again with this dark grease like stuff, and just stinks. I can smell her when I walk into the door : (

But, she is still getting around, and eating and drinking some. The next thing I need to decide, should I schedule this grooming appt that is 6 weeks out so she can get an actual bath? Two weeks seems far away but if I don't schedule it and then she is still around I will be kicking myself.

You can take a warm damp washcloth with just a tiny bit of soap on it, and stroke her with that. Itís likely that she is unable to groom herself, and this will help her.

We've twice now cleaned her with warm wet washclothes and then dried her off. But no soap. I do have some hypoallergic baby soap, but I haven't tried with soap yet. I've been afraid to use soap, but at think at this point it can't hurt.   eta cat bath is booked! the people I booked for are known for being really good and gentle (MIL uses them), so she will be in good hands.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 12:04:46 PM by partgypsy »

partgypsy

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #48 on: May 02, 2019, 12:11:28 PM »
https://youtu.be/kzpwkn_gFP4

Aw thank you so much! (I'm crying right now).  I was always told you should never give a cat a bath and was afraid to do anything. she's going to get a nice washcloth bath with a little soap asap.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 12:15:14 PM by partgypsy »

Sibley

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Re: Pet owners - how many bad days is ok for decent quality of life?
« Reply #49 on: May 02, 2019, 07:05:10 PM »
@dougules  I'm doing ok. Still miss Sibley, and while I managed to wash all the cat blankets, I haven't managed to throw out the blankets that were on her favorite bed. (they are very much past the point where they should be tossed). I ended up sitting on the floor in the filthy utility room crying when I thought about it. So, they're just sitting in the corner for now.

@pbkmaine  I had to bathe Sibley for the past couple years. Sink + Dawn dish soap will work, though cat shampoo is gentler. Bigger picture however, what you're describing is an animal that is ready to go.