Musing on food and cooking ...

Friday, April 11, 2008

What Should I Do?

How do you know when it is time to euthanize an animal, a cat friend you have raised since he was a wee thing?

Leo is really struggling again. Nothing I feed him seems to help. He acts like he is starving to death. This last week he has been struck with explosive diarrhea. I come home to 4-5 accidents a day. I need to get a SpotBot to clean the carpet. I woke this morning at 4 am to the sound of shit being sprayed not a foot from my head. I have lost 3 pairs of shoes.

I can't find a vet to do a house call. He is vet phobic from all the visits we have had in the last four years. None of the food seems to help. Antibiotics help for a short while. But I am told that chronic diarrhea in some cats is nearly impossible to diagnose and treat. I just sent an email to the vet closest to my houses in hopes she might have some suggestions, but I don't have much hope. Just a whisper.

I am crying as I type this because I can't even believe that I am thinking about putting him to sleep. I ask myself if it is really because he is in pain and in decline or am I just feeling selfish and inconvenienced. I just don't know what to do.

Leo is almost 13. He has been fragile all his life. He probably should never have lived at all. His mother stopped feeding him when he was very young. Do I just say, he has had a good life, better than anything he could have had if we hadn't come together, but now it is time for him to pass? Am I being a selfish, horrid person? And if I have him euthanized because it is the right thing to do, how do I get through this?


Little Merry Sunshine said...

Oh, GG, my heart is breaking for you. I love my cats like they were my kids and I know you do too. I wish I had some advice, but the only thing I can offer is that my cousin is a vet tech and has been for over 10 years (probably closer to 15). I always call her first when I have questions about my babies. If you'd like me to call her and she if she'd be willing to chat with you, please email me privately. She's at work today, but she should be home this evening. The only downside to her is that she's in St. Louis, but she's saved me a trip or two to the vet and has put my mind at ease countless times, even if just for a second opinion. She's realy great at what she does.

Jenn said...

Well, I guess I would suggest calling one or two more vets, telling them the basic history and ask what they think the options are. You might get lucky and find someone who is willing to try something different with him. They also may be able to tell you if he is really suffering or not.

If they have no good options aside from an expensive life threatening surgery, then I would go on to the tough decision. It stinks, but sometimes it is better for the kitty.


Brave Sir Robin said...

13 is not exactly young. It's a tough, tough thing, but I think it would be more humane than letting him starve to death.


GourmetGoddess said...

Thanks for the offer, LMS, but I am not certain your cousin could offer any more info than I've already had. Sadly, Leo has had nearly $4000 in testing and treatment in the last 3-4 years. He's had stool samples, urine samples, more blood work than he has blood, and an ultrasound to see if he had cancer. I drew the line on an intestinal biopsy, because it was $2500 and I feel it would kill him. He's been given antibiotics, been dewormed even though he showed no worms and the other cat isn't sick, been fasted, been on the rice and burger diet. His food was tsted. His water was tested. I was even tested to see if I was giving some intestinal illness to him. He is always worse in the spring and no one can figure out why. He's allergic to chicken. He has been exposed to FIP at one point, but that is not considered an issue. *sighs* so hard. Too hard.

Anonymous said...

You know how I feel about letting an animal suffer undue pain and problems that seem to have no end. I will support you in whatever you decide to do, but feel that maybe Leo needs to go to kitty cat heaven with Harriet, Sukie, and most of all Buddy. It is a hard decision to make, but do not think of it as an inconvenience to you to have to clean up messes. He may be beyond an medical help now. I grieve with you as he is my favorite cat.