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Joseph O'Brien
August 22nd 06, 11:03 PM
Hello, everyone.

Some of you may remember a posts I made over the last few months about
my sick kitty. He started out with rather vague symptoms: lethargy,
fever, and limping. After seeing three vets, a feline specialist, and
doing multiple tests and procedures, my dear companion has died.

We are awaiting results of a biopsy performed two days before he died,
but we suspect cancer. His lymph nodes in his legs and mammary glands
were extremely swollen. It was a terrible, long, depressing illness.
He actually died at the vet while I was signing euthanasia papers.

Looking back on it, I knew all along that he wasn't getting better. I
wish now I had not bothered with the biopsy, which I believe made his
last few days miserable.

It's so hard being a pet owner with so many resources available. It's
almost paralyzing. For example, my wife was posting to another message
board during the last two weeks of his life. Up until the last day,
someone with "credentials" was telling not to give up, to get more
tests, to see another specialist IMMEDIATELY, etc. My poor wife was so
stressed out -- she really thought our cat had a chance and was in
tears because she felt we were not doing enough.

I know that vets cannot be 100% certain about anything without many,
many tests, but I think there must be a point at which it can be said
that there is no reasonable probability of recovery. I only wish I
were more confident in my own opinions at the time. Then, perhaps my
cat might not have suffered so much during his last days. Hell, at
this point I'm so mixed up that I just don't know anymore. What do you
DVM's and those studying to be DVM's think about this?

Thanks for reading my little rant.

Joseph

cybercat
August 22nd 06, 11:44 PM
"Joseph O'Brien" > wrote in message
ps.com...
> Hello, everyone.
>
> Some of you may remember a posts I made over the last few months about
> my sick kitty. He started out with rather vague symptoms: lethargy,
> fever, and limping. After seeing three vets, a feline specialist, and
> doing multiple tests and procedures, my dear companion has died.

I am so sorry, Joseph. I read the rest of your comments with interest
and empathy. You raise very good points. I think no matter what, all
you can do is be as well-informed as you can, have the best vet you
can have, and struggle like hell with the painful reality of having a sick
animal and not knowing where to draw the line.

You are a good egg and a fine person for taking such good care of
your kitty friend. I know you will miss him, and I have no doubt that
you and your wife did the very best you could for him.

August 22nd 06, 11:58 PM
On 22 Aug 2006 15:03:59 -0700, "Joseph O'Brien"
> wrote:

>Hello, everyone.
>
>Some of you may remember a posts I made over the last few months about
>my sick kitty. He started out with rather vague symptoms: lethargy,
>fever, and limping. After seeing three vets, a feline specialist, and
>doing multiple tests and procedures, my dear companion has died.
>
>We are awaiting results of a biopsy performed two days before he died,
>but we suspect cancer. His lymph nodes in his legs and mammary glands
>were extremely swollen. It was a terrible, long, depressing illness.
>He actually died at the vet while I was signing euthanasia papers.
>
>Looking back on it, I knew all along that he wasn't getting better. I
>wish now I had not bothered with the biopsy, which I believe made his
>last few days miserable.
>
>It's so hard being a pet owner with so many resources available. It's
>almost paralyzing. For example, my wife was posting to another message
>board during the last two weeks of his life. Up until the last day,
>someone with "credentials" was telling not to give up, to get more
>tests, to see another specialist IMMEDIATELY, etc. My poor wife was so
>stressed out -- she really thought our cat had a chance and was in
>tears because she felt we were not doing enough.
>
>I know that vets cannot be 100% certain about anything without many,
>many tests, but I think there must be a point at which it can be said
>that there is no reasonable probability of recovery. I only wish I
>were more confident in my own opinions at the time. Then, perhaps my
>cat might not have suffered so much during his last days. Hell, at
>this point I'm so mixed up that I just don't know anymore. What do you
>DVM's and those studying to be DVM's think about this?
>
>Thanks for reading my little rant.
>
>Joseph

Joseph,

I'm so sorry for your loss. Most of the people here try to be as
helpful as possible and present all possible alternatives. The most
difficult thing for the owner is to take all these suggestions and
decide what's best for his / her kitty. We all look for hope and
reassurance that we are doing the right thing. In the end, there's no
sure way to know what the "right" course of action is, but I'm sure
decisions are made with love and the kitty's best interests at heart.
Your kitty knew how much you loved him...and that's the important
thing.

My condolences,
Rob

Rhonda
August 23rd 06, 01:39 AM
Hi Joseph,

I'm sorry you lost your cat.

It's horrible to watch them decline, and even more horrible if you don't
know the reason. We have gone through that too and have waited too long
to realize that it couldn't be fixed.

I think the hard thing to do is give up hope. There was always hope in
my mind we could find out what was wrong and fix it magically. I think
it's natural to hold on for that and to do everything possible.

Don't second-guess yourself now, you did what you though was right at
the time. You made your decisions out of love for your cat. You will get
tons of opinions on what to do, but no one knows your cat like you do.

None of us can pick what will happen at the end, and I wish we could
chose a pain-free departure for our pets.

Take care, tell your wife that you both did right by your kitty,

Rhonda

Joseph O'Brien wrote:
> Hello, everyone.
>
> Some of you may remember a posts I made over the last few months about
> my sick kitty. He started out with rather vague symptoms: lethargy,
> fever, and limping. After seeing three vets, a feline specialist, and
> doing multiple tests and procedures, my dear companion has died.
>
> We are awaiting results of a biopsy performed two days before he died,
> but we suspect cancer. His lymph nodes in his legs and mammary glands
> were extremely swollen. It was a terrible, long, depressing illness.
> He actually died at the vet while I was signing euthanasia papers.
>
> Looking back on it, I knew all along that he wasn't getting better. I
> wish now I had not bothered with the biopsy, which I believe made his
> last few days miserable.
>
> It's so hard being a pet owner with so many resources available. It's
> almost paralyzing. For example, my wife was posting to another message
> board during the last two weeks of his life. Up until the last day,
> someone with "credentials" was telling not to give up, to get more
> tests, to see another specialist IMMEDIATELY, etc. My poor wife was so
> stressed out -- she really thought our cat had a chance and was in
> tears because she felt we were not doing enough.
>
> I know that vets cannot be 100% certain about anything without many,
> many tests, but I think there must be a point at which it can be said
> that there is no reasonable probability of recovery. I only wish I
> were more confident in my own opinions at the time. Then, perhaps my
> cat might not have suffered so much during his last days. Hell, at
> this point I'm so mixed up that I just don't know anymore. What do you
> DVM's and those studying to be DVM's think about this?
>
> Thanks for reading my little rant.
>
> Joseph
>

T
August 23rd 06, 02:57 AM
In article m>,
says...
> Hello, everyone.
>
> Some of you may remember a posts I made over the last few months about
> my sick kitty. He started out with rather vague symptoms: lethargy,
> fever, and limping. After seeing three vets, a feline specialist, and
> doing multiple tests and procedures, my dear companion has died.
>
> We are awaiting results of a biopsy performed two days before he died,
> but we suspect cancer. His lymph nodes in his legs and mammary glands
> were extremely swollen. It was a terrible, long, depressing illness.
> He actually died at the vet while I was signing euthanasia papers.
>
> Looking back on it, I knew all along that he wasn't getting better. I
> wish now I had not bothered with the biopsy, which I believe made his
> last few days miserable.
>
> It's so hard being a pet owner with so many resources available. It's
> almost paralyzing. For example, my wife was posting to another message
> board during the last two weeks of his life. Up until the last day,
> someone with "credentials" was telling not to give up, to get more
> tests, to see another specialist IMMEDIATELY, etc. My poor wife was so
> stressed out -- she really thought our cat had a chance and was in
> tears because she felt we were not doing enough.
>
> I know that vets cannot be 100% certain about anything without many,
> many tests, but I think there must be a point at which it can be said
> that there is no reasonable probability of recovery. I only wish I
> were more confident in my own opinions at the time. Then, perhaps my
> cat might not have suffered so much during his last days. Hell, at
> this point I'm so mixed up that I just don't know anymore. What do you
> DVM's and those studying to be DVM's think about this?
>
> Thanks for reading my little rant.
>
> Joseph

Sorry to hear about your saga. One thing about my current vet that
bothers me is their general insistence on certain procedures that I'm
not certain my older cats need. For example - they hydrated my eldest
cat when I brought him in via sub-Q. That was NOT necessary - he takes
in plenty of fluids, etc. His labs were fine, etc. But he is an old cat
so he does see the vet a little more often.

In the past year I've spent close to $2,000 in vet care for three cats,
one of which had to be euthanized because the laundry list of issues was
just too long. Poor big guy was suffering and yet never complained about
it. I'll always miss Cosimo.

August 23rd 06, 07:53 AM
Joseph O'Brien schrieb:
> I know that vets cannot be 100% certain about anything without many,
> many tests, but I think there must be a point at which it can be said
> that there is no reasonable probability of recovery. I only wish I
> were more confident in my own opinions at the time. Then, perhaps my
> cat might not have suffered so much during his last days. Hell, at
> this point I'm so mixed up that I just don't know anymore. What do you
> DVM's and those studying to be DVM's think about this?

Joseph,

sorry to hear about your loss.

You are right, it is very hard with all the options we have to decide
when the right point is to let a companion animal go. I find it hardest
when there is no definitive diagnosis.

Personally, my former vet (I just moved, so we'll have to see how my
new vet is) was very good about giving an honest answer on reasonable
probability of recovery when a diagnosis was definitive and honesty
about possible degree of suffering.

As our companion animals can't tell us how they feel, in the end it is
unfortunately guess work on our part and out vet's part. But we all try
to do our best, and that is nothing to blame yourself for.

Petra

August 23rd 06, 01:54 PM
Joseph O'Brien wrote:

I only wish I
> were more confident in my own opinions at the time. Then, perhaps my
> cat might not have suffered so much during his last days. Hell, at
> this point I'm so mixed up that I just don't know anymore. What do you
> DVM's and those studying to be DVM's think about this?


Sympathies and condolences

Same thing happens with dying people when too much treatment spolis the
time they have left

Always a tough call but its over now and its better to remmeber the
good times

You did yr best and no one can do anything else

whatever the outcome theres a what-if

Alison
August 23rd 06, 03:14 PM
"Joseph O'Brien" > wrote in message
ps.com...
> Hello, everyone.
>
> Some of you may remember a posts I made over the last few months about
> my sick kitty. He started out with rather vague symptoms: lethargy,
> fever, and limping. After seeing three vets, a feline specialist, and
> doing multiple tests and procedures, my dear companion has died.
>
> We are awaiting results of a biopsy performed two days before he died,
> but we suspect cancer. His lymph nodes in his legs and mammary glands
> were extremely swollen. It was a terrible, long, depressing illness.
> He actually died at the vet while I was signing euthanasia papers.
>
> Looking back on it, I knew all along that he wasn't getting better. I
> wish now I had not bothered with the biopsy, which I believe made his
> last few days miserable.
>
> It's so hard being a pet owner with so many resources available. It's
> almost paralyzing. For example, my wife was posting to another message
> board during the last two weeks of his life. Up until the last day,
> someone with "credentials" was telling not to give up, to get more
> tests, to see another specialist IMMEDIATELY, etc. My poor wife was so
> stressed out -- she really thought our cat had a chance and was in
> tears because she felt we were not doing enough.
>
> I know that vets cannot be 100% certain about anything without many,
> many tests, but I think there must be a point at which it can be said
> that there is no reasonable probability of recovery. I only wish I
> were more confident in my own opinions at the time. Then, perhaps my
> cat might not have suffered so much during his last days. Hell, at
> this point I'm so mixed up that I just don't know anymore. What do you
> DVM's and those studying to be DVM's think about this?
>
> Thanks for reading my little rant.
>
> Joseph>>

I'm so sorry. It can be very difficult to know what to do when a much
loved pet is sick.
Alison

Joseph O'Brien
August 24th 06, 04:13 AM
Thank you everyone for your support. I do realize now that I did all
that I thought was possible for our cat. I can't speculate about "next
time," but I hope that I would proceed with as much compassion, and
twice the wisdom.

Thank you again, everyone.

Sincerely,
Joseph

wrote:
> Joseph O'Brien wrote:
>
> I only wish I
> > were more confident in my own opinions at the time. Then, perhaps my
> > cat might not have suffered so much during his last days. Hell, at
> > this point I'm so mixed up that I just don't know anymore. What do you
> > DVM's and those studying to be DVM's think about this?
>
>
> Sympathies and condolences
>
> Same thing happens with dying people when too much treatment spolis the
> time they have left
>
> Always a tough call but its over now and its better to remmeber the
> good times
>
> You did yr best and no one can do anything else
>
> whatever the outcome theres a what-if

Joseph O'Brien
August 24th 06, 10:09 PM
One last note: we received the results of the biopsy today. He
apparently had highly malignant mammary cancer. I had never heard of
such a thing in a male cat, but it makes sense now why he deteriorated
so quickly.

Thanks again for your support.




Joseph O'Brien wrote:
> Thank you everyone for your support. I do realize now that I did all
> that I thought was possible for our cat. I can't speculate about "next
> time," but I hope that I would proceed with as much compassion, and
> twice the wisdom.
>
> Thank you again, everyone.
>
> Sincerely,
> Joseph
>
> wrote:
> > Joseph O'Brien wrote:
> >
> > I only wish I
> > > were more confident in my own opinions at the time. Then, perhaps my
> > > cat might not have suffered so much during his last days. Hell, at
> > > this point I'm so mixed up that I just don't know anymore. What do you
> > > DVM's and those studying to be DVM's think about this?
> >
> >
> > Sympathies and condolences
> >
> > Same thing happens with dying people when too much treatment spolis the
> > time they have left
> >
> > Always a tough call but its over now and its better to remmeber the
> > good times
> >
> > You did yr best and no one can do anything else
> >
> > whatever the outcome theres a what-if

Matthew
August 24th 06, 10:14 PM
Yes males can get mammary cancer even happens in humans


"Joseph O'Brien" > wrote in message
oups.com...
> One last note: we received the results of the biopsy today. He
> apparently had highly malignant mammary cancer. I had never heard of
> such a thing in a male cat, but it makes sense now why he deteriorated
> so quickly.
>
> Thanks again for your support.
>
>
>
>
> Joseph O'Brien wrote:
>> Thank you everyone for your support. I do realize now that I did all
>> that I thought was possible for our cat. I can't speculate about "next
>> time," but I hope that I would proceed with as much compassion, and
>> twice the wisdom.
>>
>> Thank you again, everyone.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>> Joseph
>>
>> wrote:
>> > Joseph O'Brien wrote:
>> >
>> > I only wish I
>> > > were more confident in my own opinions at the time. Then, perhaps my
>> > > cat might not have suffered so much during his last days. Hell, at
>> > > this point I'm so mixed up that I just don't know anymore. What do
>> > > you
>> > > DVM's and those studying to be DVM's think about this?
>> >
>> >
>> > Sympathies and condolences
>> >
>> > Same thing happens with dying people when too much treatment spolis the
>> > time they have left
>> >
>> > Always a tough call but its over now and its better to remmeber the
>> > good times
>> >
>> > You did yr best and no one can do anything else
>> >
>> > whatever the outcome theres a what-if
>