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View Full Version : When do you "call it a day"?


Eddy[_2_]
April 20th 09, 10:50 AM
I would like to know various people's views on when one should "call it
a day" when a beloved pet has a very serious illness.

If increasing part of the medication to maximum level will give the
animal good quality of life for a large part of the day though in the
end the side-effects of that large increase in medication will cause
additional complications, do you give the animal that extra good-quality
time and wait until the additional complications set in?

Do you say that it is good that increasing the medication has largely
removed the animal's suffering but while the animal is now in this good
window you should put him to sleep, rather than wait for the next
down-turn?

Or do you say that in spite of the increased medication the animal
remains below par, below normal health, and should therefore be relieved
of life without more ado?

Or what?

We are having a tough time here. One thing is certain. This fine young
cat could have been put to sleep a month ago when it was found he had
"very serious congestive heart failure" but since then, because of the
medication, and increases in his medication, he has enjoyed some very
happy days frolicking around in the sunshine, devouring good food, and
luxuriating in front of the fire.

Eddy.

cindys
April 20th 09, 12:53 PM
On Apr 20, 5:50*am, Eddy >
wrote:
> I would like to know various people's views on when one should "call it
> a day" when a beloved pet has a very serious illness.
>
> If increasing part of the medication to maximum level will give the
> animal good quality of life for a large part of the day though in the
> end the side-effects of that large increase in medication will cause
> additional complications, do you give the animal that extra good-quality
> time and wait until the additional complications set in?
>
> Do you say that it is good that increasing the medication has largely
> removed the animal's suffering but while the animal is now in this good
> window you should put him to sleep, rather than wait for the next
> down-turn?
>
> Or do you say that in spite of the increased medication the animal
> remains below par, below normal health, and should therefore be relieved
> of life without more ado?
>
> Or what?
>
> We are having a tough time here. *One thing is certain. *This fine young
> cat could have been put to sleep a month ago when it was found he had
> "very serious congestive heart failure" but since then, because of the
> medication, and increases in his medication, he has enjoyed some very
> happy days frolicking around in the sunshine, devouring good food, and
> luxuriating in front of the fire.
---------------
In my opinion, you make your decision on the basis of the cat's
quality of life. If medications are keeping him alive but he's
spending his whole day lying in the corner, it's time to call it a
day. OTOH, if the medications are keeping him alive, but he's spending
his day frolicking, it's too soon to call it a day. Even if you know
you may have a downturn in a week or a month. You can always call it a
day when you see the downturn.

I have a cat with very severe heart disease (although he has not
experienced the repeated episodes of fluid-buildup-induced respiratory
distress followed by periods of dehydration that you have described in
your cat). My cat ended up in the animal emergency room on December
30, 2007. His prognosis was grim. He was in respiratory distress,
every chamber of his heart was enlarged, he had leaky valves, blood
clots just asking to form. They drained his chest, prescribed some
medication and gave him "a few months at most." Our regular vet
estimated his remaining lifespan to be "maybe another month."

It's now been nearly a year and a half, and we still have the cat, and
he is still enjoying a really good quality of life, eating well
(thanks to Pepcid), going up and down the stairs, jumping onto (low)
tables, sleeping in my son's bed, etc. When the time comes, we won't
hesitate to call it a day, but that day will come only once. In the
meantime, the cat is happy, and we're appreciating every day we have
him. Every living creature is going to get sick and die someday. You
don't want to hasten that day but neither do you want to prolong the
suffering when it comes. I would say it is time to call it a day if
and when: Your cat is spending much of his day lying in a corner. He
doesn't want to eat (and you're already tried giving him Pepcid - ask
your vet for the proper dose for a cat, and don't use the extra
strength). He stops grooming. He stops using the litter box. He hides.
He's wobbly on his feet. These are all signs that he's had enough. But
if he's happy and frolicking, it's too soon. Take your cue from him.

(BTW, I saw that you wrote in another thread that you're giving your
cat aspirin - I would assume to prevent clots. You might want to think
about using Plavix (clopidogrel) instead. Our cat is taking four or
five different meds for his heart, but I believe it's the Lasix
(furosemide) and the clopidogrel that are responsible for keeping him
alive. The potential for blood clots is huge for cats with heart
disease. The medication is expensive in the USA because we only have
the brand-name available to us, but you can get it generic from a
Canadian pharmacy. I used Canada Pharmacy online. It cost me around
$80 for 100 pills. The cat takes only 1/4 pill per day, so 100 pills
are enough to last for a year and a half. In the USA, it costs $135
for 30 pills at CVS or Rite Aid.)
Good luck to you and your kitty.
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

Stan Brown
April 20th 09, 01:24 PM
Mon, 20 Apr 2009 10:50:34 +0100 from Eddy
>:
> I would like to know various people's views on when one should "call it
> a day" when a beloved pet has a very serious illness.

This is a terribly hard choice. Coincidentally, a friend and I were
talking about it last night.

Part of it depends on finances. I don't have the financial resources
to spend thousands of dollars on hip replacements or chemotherapy, so
those are not an option for me though they are for some.

My own view is that it's a matter of the quality of the animal's
life. If I can give him a good life now without bankrupting myself,
that's what I'll do.

In your hypothetical the medicine that helps a cat now kes things
worse later than if the medicine had not been given. That doesn't
seem terribly likely for me, but if we assume it for the sake of
argument then I would respond that cats, blessedly, don't know about
the future so if their present is good then they are happy. And even
if what we know *now* is that there's going to be trouble down the
road, by the time that day arrives there may be new treatments.

For me, then, the time for euthanasia is when nothing that can be
done now (within my resources) will make the cat's life good enough
now.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com
Shikata ga nai...

Eddy[_2_]
April 20th 09, 03:28 PM
Stan Brown wrote:

> Mon, 20 Apr 2009 10:50:34 +0100 from Eddy
> >:
> > I would like to know various people's views on when one should "call it
> > a day" when a beloved pet has a very serious illness.
>
> This is a terribly hard choice. Coincidentally, a friend and I were
> talking about it last night.
>
> Part of it depends on finances. I don't have the financial resources
> to spend thousands of dollars on hip replacements or chemotherapy, so
> those are not an option for me though they are for some.
>
> My own view is that it's a matter of the quality of the animal's
> life. If I can give him a good life now without bankrupting myself,
> that's what I'll do.
>
> In your hypothetical the medicine that helps a cat now kes things
> worse later than if the medicine had not been given. That doesn't
> seem terribly likely for me, but if we assume it for the sake of
> argument then I would respond that cats, blessedly, don't know about
> the future so if their present is good then they are happy. And even
> if what we know *now* is that there's going to be trouble down the
> road, by the time that day arrives there may be new treatments.
>
> For me, then, the time for euthanasia is when nothing that can be
> done now (within my resources) will make the cat's life good enough
> now.

Stan, thanks very much for this very sound and considered reply. It's a
help to us.

Eddy.

Eddy[_2_]
April 20th 09, 03:33 PM
cindys wrote:

> On Apr 20, 5:50 am, Eddy >
> wrote:
> ---------------
> In my opinion, you make your decision on the basis of the cat's
> quality of life. If medications are keeping him alive but he's
> spending his whole day lying in the corner, it's time to call it a
> day. OTOH, if the medications are keeping him alive, but he's spending
> his day frolicking, it's too soon to call it a day. Even if you know
> you may have a downturn in a week or a month. You can always call it a
> day when you see the downturn.
>
> I have a cat with very severe heart disease (although he has not
> experienced the repeated episodes of fluid-buildup-induced respiratory
> distress followed by periods of dehydration that you have described in
> your cat). My cat ended up in the animal emergency room on December
> 30, 2007. His prognosis was grim. He was in respiratory distress,
> every chamber of his heart was enlarged, he had leaky valves, blood
> clots just asking to form. They drained his chest, prescribed some
> medication and gave him "a few months at most." Our regular vet
> estimated his remaining lifespan to be "maybe another month."
>
> It's now been nearly a year and a half, and we still have the cat, and
> he is still enjoying a really good quality of life, eating well
> (thanks to Pepcid), going up and down the stairs, jumping onto (low)
> tables, sleeping in my son's bed, etc. When the time comes, we won't
> hesitate to call it a day, but that day will come only once. In the
> meantime, the cat is happy, and we're appreciating every day we have
> him. Every living creature is going to get sick and die someday. You
> don't want to hasten that day but neither do you want to prolong the
> suffering when it comes. I would say it is time to call it a day if
> and when: Your cat is spending much of his day lying in a corner. He
> doesn't want to eat (and you're already tried giving him Pepcid - ask
> your vet for the proper dose for a cat, and don't use the extra
> strength). He stops grooming. He stops using the litter box. He hides.
> He's wobbly on his feet. These are all signs that he's had enough. But
> if he's happy and frolicking, it's too soon. Take your cue from him.
>
> (BTW, I saw that you wrote in another thread that you're giving your
> cat aspirin - I would assume to prevent clots. You might want to think
> about using Plavix (clopidogrel) instead. Our cat is taking four or
> five different meds for his heart, but I believe it's the Lasix
> (furosemide) and the clopidogrel that are responsible for keeping him
> alive. The potential for blood clots is huge for cats with heart
> disease. The medication is expensive in the USA because we only have
> the brand-name available to us, but you can get it generic from a
> Canadian pharmacy. I used Canada Pharmacy online. It cost me around
> $80 for 100 pills. The cat takes only 1/4 pill per day, so 100 pills
> are enough to last for a year and a half. In the USA, it costs $135
> for 30 pills at CVS or Rite Aid.)
> Good luck to you and your kitty.
> Best regards,
> ---Cindy S.
>
Cindy, it is great to receive direct personal advice from someone else
with a cat with much the same serious conditions as ours. Thanks so
much. I'm printing out your (and Stan's) advice to keep by us during
these difficult up-and-down days.

Many thanks.

Eddy.

April 20th 09, 04:58 PM
On Apr 20, 5:50*am, Eddy >
wrote:

> We are having a tough time here. *One thing is certain. *This fine young
> cat could have been put to sleep a month ago when it was found he had
> "very serious congestive heart failure" but since then, because of the
> medication, and increases in his medication, he has enjoyed some very
> happy days frolicking around in the sunshine, devouring good food, and
> luxuriating in front of the fire.

If the cat is happy, free of pain and interacting with you happily and
by choice, keep at it.

If the financial situation is sustainable, keep at it. This may seem
brutal that cost should be a factor, but as it happens, quality-of-
life goes both ways. We kept a golden retriever who had a normal,
happy life on $3 worth of pills per day, even heavily discounted, and
no life on any smaller dosage. Between diet and pills, his maintenance
cost was nearly $6/day entirely appart from vet visits and liver
monitoring. But for the last 6 years of his life (he died at 14 full,
happy years of a stroke 4 weeks ago), he was happy, up until the few
hours before he died. An easy choice, for us. But some families cannot
handle a $2500 annual expense.

But if the condition is chronic, and the animal is unhappy, listless,
might be in pain and does not interact happily, for its sake and
yours, let it end.

Much as others have offered.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA

cybercat
April 20th 09, 06:03 PM
"Eddy" > wrote in message
...
>I would like to know various people's views on when one should "call it
> a day" when a beloved pet has a very serious illness.

When you know the animal is suffering and there is no chance of them getting
better. And remember that they are very good at hiding it.

cindys
April 20th 09, 07:01 PM
On Apr 20, 10:33*am, Eddy >
wrote:
> cindys wrote:
> > On Apr 20, 5:50 am, Eddy >
> > wrote:
> > ---------------
> > In my opinion, you make your decision on the basis of the cat's
> > quality of life. If medications are keeping him alive but he's
> > spending his whole day lying in the corner, it's time to call it a
> > day. OTOH, if the medications are keeping him alive, but he's spending
> > his day frolicking, it's too soon to call it a day. Even if you know
> > you may have a downturn in a week or a month. You can always call it a
> > day when you see the downturn.
>
> > I have a cat with very severe heart disease (although he has not
> > experienced the repeated episodes of fluid-buildup-induced respiratory
> > distress followed by periods of dehydration that you have described in
> > your cat). My cat ended up in the animal emergency room on December
> > 30, 2007. His prognosis was grim. He was in respiratory distress,
> > every chamber of his heart was enlarged, he had leaky valves, blood
> > clots just asking to form. They drained his chest, prescribed some
> > medication and gave him "a few months at most." Our regular vet
> > estimated his remaining lifespan to be "maybe another month."
>
> > It's now been nearly a year and a half, and we still have the cat, and
> > he is still enjoying a really good quality of life, eating well
> > (thanks to Pepcid), going up and down the stairs, jumping onto (low)
> > tables, sleeping in my son's bed, etc. When the time comes, we won't
> > hesitate to call it a day, but that day will come only once. In the
> > meantime, the cat is happy, and we're appreciating every day we have
> > him. Every living creature is going to get sick and die someday. You
> > don't want to hasten that day but neither do you want to prolong the
> > suffering when it comes. I would say it is time to call it a day if
> > and when: Your cat is spending much of his day lying in a corner. He
> > doesn't want to eat (and you're already tried giving him Pepcid - ask
> > your vet for the proper dose for a cat, and don't use the extra
> > strength). He stops grooming. He stops using the litter box. He hides.
> > He's wobbly on his feet. These are all signs that he's had enough. But
> > if he's happy and frolicking, it's too soon. Take your cue from him.
>
> > (BTW, I saw that you wrote in another thread that you're giving your
> > cat aspirin - I would assume to prevent clots. You might want to think
> > about using Plavix (clopidogrel) instead. Our cat is taking four or
> > five different meds for his heart, but I believe it's the Lasix
> > (furosemide) and the clopidogrel that are responsible for keeping him
> > alive. The potential for blood clots is huge for cats with heart
> > disease. The medication is expensive in the USA because we only have
> > the brand-name available to us, but you can get it generic from a
> > Canadian pharmacy. I used Canada Pharmacy online. It cost me around
> > $80 for 100 pills. The cat takes only 1/4 pill per day, so 100 pills
> > are enough to last for a year and a half. In the USA, it costs $135
> > for 30 pills at CVS or Rite Aid.)
> > Good luck to you and your kitty.
> > Best regards,
> > ---Cindy S.
>
> Cindy, it is great to receive direct personal advice from someone else
> with a cat with much the same serious conditions as ours. *Thanks so
> much. *I'm printing out your (and Stan's) advice to keep by us during
> these difficult up-and-down days.
>
> Many thanks.
----------
I wish you all the best. And when the sad time comes, please remember
that your cat is not thinking "I can't believe he's doing this to me.
I had a lot of loose ends to clear up. I could have been around
another two weeks!" Cats live for the here and now. I was reading
somewhere that animals have only one bad day their entire lives
(obviously, this isn't exactly true, but I think you get the point).
When you need to euthanize a beloved animal, it's hard not to feel
that you have somehow betrayed your friend because no matter when you
do it, it's normal to feel self-doubt. In your mind, you will feel
that you either did it too soon or that you waited too long. Just
remember: In the end, this really is all about the person because the
kitty really doesn't know the difference. So, as long as your kitty is
happy and frolicking, enjoy each other. And when the time does come to
call it a day, try not to judge yourself too harshly.
I wish you many more happy days with your kitty.
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

Eddy[_2_]
April 20th 09, 09:13 PM
cindys wrote:
> ----------
> I wish you all the best. And when the sad time comes, please remember
> that your cat is not thinking "I can't believe he's doing this to me.
> I had a lot of loose ends to clear up. I could have been around
> another two weeks!" Cats live for the here and now. I was reading
> somewhere that animals have only one bad day their entire lives
> (obviously, this isn't exactly true, but I think you get the point).
> When you need to euthanize a beloved animal, it's hard not to feel
> that you have somehow betrayed your friend because no matter when you
> do it, it's normal to feel self-doubt. In your mind, you will feel
> that you either did it too soon or that you waited too long. Just
> remember: In the end, this really is all about the person because the
> kitty really doesn't know the difference. So, as long as your kitty is
> happy and frolicking, enjoy each other. And when the time does come to
> call it a day, try not to judge yourself too harshly.
> I wish you many more happy days with your kitty.
> Best regards,
> ---Cindy S.

Cindy, VERY helpful and sound counsel. Thank you so much. We shall
print this out too and keep it in front of us.

(He's had another fantastic day in today's wonderful warm weather and is
currently sleeping with reasonably shallow breathing. Spoke to the vet
and the double dose of furosemide we have been giving him daily since
Saturday is going to be replaced by a daily dose of 20mgs furosemide and
20mgs of some other diuretic which won't drain him of potassium. Thanks
to PhilP for bringing up the potassium factor.)

Eddy.

Eddy[_2_]
April 20th 09, 09:25 PM
cybercat wrote:
> When you know the animal is suffering and there is no chance of them getting
> better. And remember that they are very good at hiding it.

Thanks, Cybercat. Yes, I think the operative words here are "no
chance". Our vet has explained that there is already no chance of our
cat getting better in the sense of the source of his problem improving.
So the question becomes is there still a chance of any drug or
combination of drugs keeping him going - and keep him going HAPPILY.

You're right about cats being good at "hiding" their illness. We have
found in recent weeks that we have had to really penetrate beneath the
lovely exterior, the lovely fur coat, and try and detect those lungs and
the degree of work they are having to do. It was only by doing this
that we have managed to save him thus far. But somehow cats don't draw
your attention to such difficulties. You really have to focus on them,
don't you.

Eddy.

Eddy[_2_]
April 20th 09, 09:35 PM
wrote:
> I ditto this 100%. I had a CHF cat who lasted 15 years.

15 years! Wow. Well, we've been told if our cat lasts two we will be
very lucky, so you've got us hoping. Any period of time at all for him
will be fine as long as he's stable. I think that's the main thing.
For the past month he's been up and down and it's been awful seeing him
suffering when he's been down. We need to see if he can get into a
steady state of well-being with whatever combination of drugs.

Eddy.

Eddy[_2_]
April 20th 09, 09:41 PM
wrote:
> If the financial situation is sustainable, keep at it. This may seem
> brutal that cost should be a factor, but as it happens, quality-of-
> life goes both ways.

Peter, thanks for your advice. Yes, cost is definitely a factor. So
far his vet treatment over the past month has cost us $450.00 (in US
dollars). We are not wealthy. In fact we are living on a shoe-string.
We have swallowed that initial expense and have done the sums and can
just about manage the cost of his monthly medication bill. But we
certainly can't be having further drainings and X-rays etc. So now it's
over to the drugs and how long he can tolerate a high dose of the
diuretics per day.

Eddy.

Eddy[_2_]
April 21st 09, 10:25 AM
wrote:
> I hear you. Listen, this may be off the wall but I take many heart
> related
> Rx meds for not CHF but relate stuff, w/o going into detail. One of
> them
> *is* Plavix and I get it through my HMO cheaper than the Canadian
> quote
> given here. Only Phil P. would know, as superinformed non-vet the deep
> answer to this next I say: maybe he'll favor us with an opinion....I
> do take
> those drugs and have regular, multiple blood tests re my condition and
> the efficacy of the drugs to date. I have *very few* xrays (overpriced
> in
> general in my hoomin-judgement in vets offices unless for foreign body
> location or trauma 411....they can and do reveal fluid retention from
> CHF
> in hoomins....but lab wrk and an exam do the same much cheaper.
> Of course i base the above on all I know about *human* CHF not cats.

Thanks, Hopitus. Yes, we can't afford further thoracentesis operations
or X-rays under general anaesthetic etc., and, anyway, we don't think
that the poor cat itself can withstand such trauma again. So it is up
to whatever drugs can do "the trick". We are prepared to pay for them
(and for the many tins of tuna and natural yoghourt necessary to get all
these pills down the cat's throat!). As for WHICH drugs, precisely,
well we appreciate the suggestions given here, by you and others, but at
the end of the day you have to go with your vet's beliefs, don't you.
Otherwise you part company with your vet or your vet loses confidence in
you and you're on your own, which, if one is not a vet, is a dangerous
road to go down. So all our faith is in our vet now. As long as she
keeps telling us there is hope in drugs we will purchase them and
administer them . . . until such time as the cat's happiness clearly
comes to an end . . . which of course is going to happen one day.

Thanks, again.

Eddy.

cindys
April 21st 09, 01:33 PM
On Apr 21, 5:25*am, Eddy >
wrote:
> wrote:
> > I hear you. Listen, this may be off the wall but I take many heart
> > related
> > Rx meds for not CHF but relate stuff, w/o going into detail. One of
> > them
> > *is* Plavix and I get it through my HMO cheaper than the Canadian
> > quote
> > given here.

The operative word here is "through your HMO." A cat is not covered
under an HMO. Any medications that someone buys for animals must be
paid for in cash, out of pocket. Sure your HMO copay on Plavix is
cheaper than the Canadian cash price for clopidogrel (generic Plavix),
but if someone is paying full price, cash out of pocket, the Canadian
price for the generic is much cheaper than anything available anywhere
in the USA. The generic clopidogrel (which is not available in the
USA) is always going to be cheaper than the brand-name Plavix. The
clopidogrel that I buy from Canada is produced in a well-known and
well-respected pharmaceutical company in India. In the USA, the drug
company that manufactures the brand-name drug Plavix has an exclusive
contract, so the generic version is not yet available in the USA (and
probably won't be for years to come).

As an aside, just in general, any medication that a person needs to
pay for with cash (i.e. doesn't have insurance) for either an animal
or even for a person is often cheaper from Canada.

>>Only Phil P. would know, as superinformed non-vet the deep
> > answer to this next I say: maybe he'll favor us with an opinion....I
> > do take
> > those drugs and have regular, multiple blood tests re my condition and
> > the efficacy of the drugs to date. I have *very few* xrays (overpriced
> > in
> > general in my hoomin-judgement in vets offices unless for foreign body
> > location or trauma 411....they can and do reveal fluid retention from
> > CHF
> > in hoomins....but lab wrk and an exam do the same much cheaper.
> > Of course i base the above on all I know about *human* CHF not cats.
>
> Thanks, Hopitus. *Yes, we can't afford further thoracentesis operations
> or X-rays under general anaesthetic etc., and, anyway, we don't think
> that the poor cat itself can withstand such trauma again. *So it is up
> to whatever drugs can do "the trick". *We are prepared to pay for them
> (and for the many tins of tuna and natural yoghourt necessary to get all
> these pills down the cat's throat!). *

To cite myself from a post I wrote last year:

Ask your vet for a "piller." This is a plastic stick with a rubber cap
at
one end and a plunger at the other. You insert the pill into the
endcap,
open the cat's mouth with your fingers, put the pill-end of the piller
to
the back of the cat's mouth/throat and push the plunger. Voila! Entire
operation completed in about three seconds or less, and you know the
cat got the full dose and swallowed it.

And here's another tip: If you have multiple pills to give the cat,
get some clear, empty gelatin capsules and put the pills in there. The
capsules come in multiple sizes, and if the pills are small enough,
several
pills or pieces of pills can fit in one capsule. I manage to fit four
pills/pieces of pills into one gelatin capsule (the smallest size). So
from
my cat's perspective, he's getting one pill rather than four. ... I
never have
to wonder if he got the medicine or if it's still hiding somewhere in
his
food dish. And the piller is long enough that I can avoid getting
scratched
or bitten because once I put the piller in his mouth, I can take my
hands
away. The piller costs about $5.

You have to be sure to get the tip of the piller (the endcap holds the
pill)
all the way to the back of the cat's throat (over the back of the
tongue).
If you don't get it back far enough, the cat will indeed spit it out.

What I do is hold my cat securely on my lap, facing away from me. With
my left hand (I'm right handed), I come around from the left side and
use my
thumb and forefinger to open his mouth (I put my fingers in the
corners of
his mouth where there are no teeth). Then, with my right hand, I put
the
piller back far enough in his mouth so the endcap is in the back of
his
throat (past the base of his tongue). I have found from experience
that if I
don't put the piller back far enough, the pill will go in his mouth
and not
down his throat, and he can indeed spit it out. The operation only
takes
about one second, so he doesn't gag. The piller is long, so he can't
close
his teeth on the fingers of my right hand (which is what used to
happen when
I tried getting the pill down his throat with my fingers). Those teeth
were
mighty sharp. While I'm holding the piller in my right hand, I am
simultaneously keeping his paws out of the way with my right forearm.
This
isn't always foolproof, and I have still gotten clawed a couple of
times. If
there is another person present, I will ask the other person to hold
the cat's paws, so he can't claw me. As I said, the whole operation
only
takes a couple of seconds, so the pill is down the cat's throat before
he
knows what happened.

BTW, don't worry that the cat will gag. It is actually much worse when
the
pill doesn't get all the way to the back of the throat. The cat then
tries
desperately to spit it out and starts drooling. My cat has never once
gagged/thrown up from being pilled.

Here is an illustration. Scroll to the bottom to see the image of the
cat
being pilled with the piller:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/ClientED/images/cat_oral/piller2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.iacuc.arizona.edu/training/cats/medicating.html&h=250&w=250&sz=18&hl=en&start=4&tbnid=dE9g7m0I8aSJDM:&tbnh=111&tbnw=111&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dcat%2Bpiller%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den

>As for WHICH drugs, precisely,
> well we appreciate the suggestions given here, by you and others, but at
> the end of the day you have to go with your vet's beliefs, don't you.

Just so you know, the advice to use Plavix (clopidogrel) rather than
plain aspirin is fairly cutting edge (WRT cats) but came directly from
Cornell. If you ask your vet about it, and she sort of blows it off,
please request that she at least place a phone call to Cornell.

Somewhere on Yahoo, there is a support group which is specifically for
people who have cats with various heart diseases, and from what I read
there, it's extremely rare for a cat who's on Plavix to form a clot.
According to the participants on that group, it is not unusual for a
cat taking Plavix to still be alive a year or more down the road.
Clots are a major danger/cause of death for cats with heart disease.
Of course, that doesn't do anything for the need for ongoing
thoracocentesis :-(

Best regards,
---Cindy S.

> Otherwise you part company with your vet or your vet loses confidence in
> you and you're on your own, which, if one is not a vet, is a dangerous
> road to go down. *So all our faith is in our vet now. *As long as she
> keeps telling us there is hope in drugs we will purchase them and
> administer them . . . until such time as the cat's happiness clearly
> comes to an end . . . which of course is going to happen one day.
>
> Thanks, again.
>
> Eddy.

April 21st 09, 05:14 PM
Eddy,

A suggestion to help with medicine costs: have you checked pricing a
different place? Walmart and Sam's Club generally have cheaper
medications. Ask your vet for a prescription (if he's taking human
medications) and shop around.

A comparison: My vet charged $21 for 20 pills of turbuteline (a
broncho diolater). I was able to get 30 pills at Walmart for $17.xx.

You could potentially save a lot of money by doing this.

Matthew[_3_]
April 21st 09, 05:19 PM
> wrote in message
...
> Eddy,
>
> A suggestion to help with medicine costs: have you checked pricing a
> different place? Walmart and Sam's Club generally have cheaper
> medications. Ask your vet for a prescription (if he's taking human
> medications) and shop around.
>
> A comparison: My vet charged $21 for 20 pills of turbuteline (a
> broncho diolater). I was able to get 30 pills at Walmart for $17.xx.
>
> You could potentially save a lot of money by doing this.

Also check on line I save almost $100 by ordering online for My Phantoms
methimazole instead of getting from the vet

MLB
April 21st 09, 06:00 PM
Eddy wrote:
> wrote:
>> If the financial situation is sustainable, keep at it. This may seem
>> brutal that cost should be a factor, but as it happens, quality-of-
>> life goes both ways.
>
> Peter, thanks for your advice. Yes, cost is definitely a factor. So
> far his vet treatment over the past month has cost us $450.00 (in US
> dollars). We are not wealthy. In fact we are living on a shoe-string.
> We have swallowed that initial expense and have done the sums and can
> just about manage the cost of his monthly medication bill. But we
> certainly can't be having further drainings and X-rays etc. So now it's
> over to the drugs and how long he can tolerate a high dose of the
> diuretics per day.
>
> Eddy.
>
>
Sending heartfelt purrs that your decisions will be sound. I can't help
but think of the old saying: If foresight were as good as hindsight,
there would be no mistakes. Best wishes. MLB

Matthew[_3_]
April 21st 09, 06:00 PM
"Eddy" > wrote in message
...
>I would like to know various people's views on when one should "call it
> a day" when a beloved pet has a very serious illness.
>
> If increasing part of the medication to maximum level will give the
> animal good quality of life for a large part of the day though in the
> end the side-effects of that large increase in medication will cause
> additional complications, do you give the animal that extra good-quality
> time and wait until the additional complications set in?
>
> Do you say that it is good that increasing the medication has largely
> removed the animal's suffering but while the animal is now in this good
> window you should put him to sleep, rather than wait for the next
> down-turn?
>
> Or do you say that in spite of the increased medication the animal
> remains below par, below normal health, and should therefore be relieved
> of life without more ado?
>
> Or what?
>
> We are having a tough time here. One thing is certain. This fine young
> cat could have been put to sleep a month ago when it was found he had
> "very serious congestive heart failure" but since then, because of the
> medication, and increases in his medication, he has enjoyed some very
> happy days frolicking around in the sunshine, devouring good food, and
> luxuriating in front of the fire.
>
> Eddy.
>

Eddy this is one of the hardest decision anyone that loves their furballs
need to make. But from my experiences only you can know when it is time.
You could have many more years with your friend or days it is not up to us
till it is time. If the furball is eating, doing his/her daily business,
Playing like a kitten [ ;-) ] and being a cat than it is not time but
when they go down you will know when it is time.

My phantom has hyperthyroidism and is in the beginning of kidney failure.
I can get it taken care of for $1000 permantley for the first part; which
for me the risks or not worth it since he is 15. He takes a pill everyday
to help his situation.

My Rumble is epileptic and is diabetic. In the beginning I thought I might
have to put him down since the medicine was not holding. He was ripping his
face off due to a allergy to a medication. The seizures were knocking him
senseless. Something told me to hang in and maintain hope. He took
medication and insulin shots everyday till a few members like Cybercat, Phil
P., Cheryl, Lynne and Mary L. helped me out and helped me get him regulated.
He has been seizure free for almost 4 years and insulin free for almost 3
years now.

When it is time you will know

cindys
April 21st 09, 06:19 PM
On Apr 21, 12:14*pm, wrote:
> Eddy,
>
> A suggestion to help with medicine costs: have you checked pricing a
> different place? Walmart and Sam's Club generally have cheaper
> medications. Ask your vet for a prescription (if he's taking human
> medications) and shop around.
>
> A comparison: My vet charged $21 for 20 pills of turbuteline (a
> broncho diolater). I was able to get 30 pills at Walmart for $17.xx.
>
> You could potentially save a lot of money by doing this.
------
And for the medications that are not human or are human but only in
much larger doses, try 1-800-PETMEDS.

I get my cats' Tumil-K (potassium supplement) from Pet Meds: 100 pills
for $21 rather than 100 pills for $38 (at my vet). All orders over $39
are shipped for free.

The furosemide 2.5 mg and enalapril (can't remember the dose off the
top of my head) are about half the price the vet charges.

I was paying my vet $8 for 100 gelcaps, which are clear, empty
capsules (I combine the pills in one clear capsule so the cat is
getting one pill rather than four). At the Capsuline website, the
gelcaps were 1000 for $16. I am currently using size 2. IIRC, the
shipping was free from Capsuline as well.
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

cshenk
April 21st 09, 11:55 PM
"Eddy" wrote

> Peter, thanks for your advice. Yes, cost is definitely a factor. So
> far his vet treatment over the past month has cost us $450.00 (in US
> dollars). We are not wealthy. In fact we are living on a shoe-string.
> We have swallowed that initial expense and have done the sums and can
> just about manage the cost of his monthly medication bill. But we

Eddy, your question is diverse and will show many answers. The reason is
the conditions vary.

Sometimes it's real obvious. I had a senile cat who in the middle of the
night when we were asleep, knock a glass salt shaker off a counter then
later eat glass from her food bowl and not even notice she cut her tounge
til too late. Emergency vet at 5am and that one was 'thank god we had per
put to sleep before there was pain'. (yes, glass in stomach and working
down).

Other times, it's not as clear. I'll go with the folks who also say a
reasonable level of 'how much can you manage and still feed the rest of the
family' is a critical factor. If you know the quality of life for the
beloved pet will decline without the meds, but can't afford them, then you
have to make a hard choice. It's OK to chose your 2 legged kids health if
it's that tight and I think you should. I'm not talking if they can have a
new nintendo game a week but neither are you.

There is sometimes a 3rd option. I adopted a pet who had medical problems
the others couldnt afford to treat. Instead of having him put to sleep, he
lived a long (realtively for his condition) time with me. It's not easy to
find a new home for a pet with medical costs known up front, but it does
happen. It's not a bad thing to put a note out locally and see if something
happens.

I in fact now have 2 'rescue pets' both of which were considered
unadoptable. One for medical and one for behavior. I can afford the
medical and the behavior problem one was pretty easy (single cat, dont add a
second cat as she will not tolerate another, also a few semi-feral issues we
easily deal with).

Good luck Eddy, and to your friend.

dejablues[_4_]
April 22nd 09, 01:42 AM
Eddy wrote:
> I would like to know various people's views on when one should "call
> it a day" when a beloved pet has a very serious illness.
>
> If increasing part of the medication to maximum level will give the
> animal good quality of life for a large part of the day though in the
> end the side-effects of that large increase in medication will cause
> additional complications, do you give the animal that extra
> good-quality time and wait until the additional complications set in?
>
> Do you say that it is good that increasing the medication has largely
> removed the animal's suffering but while the animal is now in this
> good window you should put him to sleep, rather than wait for the next
> down-turn?
>
> Or do you say that in spite of the increased medication the animal
> remains below par, below normal health, and should therefore be
> relieved of life without more ado?
>
> Or what?
>
> We are having a tough time here. One thing is certain. This fine
> young cat could have been put to sleep a month ago when it was found
> he had "very serious congestive heart failure" but since then,
> because of the medication, and increases in his medication, he has
> enjoyed some very happy days frolicking around in the sunshine,
> devouring good food, and luxuriating in front of the fire.
>
> Eddy.

"Frolicking" is subjective. "Luxuriating" in front of the fire is what every
cat loves, but a cat in chronic heart failure will have poor circulation and
will feel cold, so heat-seeking behavior, more than the average cat does, is
not a good sign. As long as he's eating and drinking, he's probably OK. When
he stops eating and drinking, it's time.
Please do not let your cat suffer and die at home, because it is a slow
death.

We bought our late beloved HCM cat about five more weeks with medication,
and sadly, he spent his last week in the hospital under heat lamps with IV
meds and nutrition, to no avail. I don't even want to tell you how much it
cost.
At least they didn't charge us for the euthanasia.

Eddy[_2_]
April 22nd 09, 11:07 AM
wrote:

> Eddy,
>
> A suggestion to help with medicine costs: have you checked pricing a
> different place? Walmart and Sam's Club generally have cheaper
> medications. Ask your vet for a prescription (if he's taking human
> medications) and shop around.
>
> A comparison: My vet charged $21 for 20 pills of turbuteline (a
> broncho diolater). I was able to get 30 pills at Walmart for $17.xx.
>
> You could potentially save a lot of money by doing this.

Thanks, "rschweitzer" for this. Bought another month's supply of drugs
yesterday for 30 US dollars, plus a further stack of tins of tuna and
pots of natural yoghurt to embed his medication, as well as the normal
tins of cat-food. Pricey indeed, so I appreciate the suggestion about
trying to get the drugs elsewhere. The thing is we're in a very
isolated rural spot here and the closest vet is a 20-minute drive away.
The next vet after that is 30 minutes drive away. So we couldn't really
chop and change vets in the future, if we wanted to, which we don't.
Our vet is genuinely concerned and very good. Her practice is not a
wealthy one. People in this area don't have much dosh. I think that if
we were to ask her to let us continue to consult her but not to buy the
drugs from her then she would not be too happy, and she might well then
feel she should charge us for chats and emergency phone-calls etc.,
which at the moment she is not. So I think we need to stick with our
vet and buy the meds from her at her price.

Eddy.

Eddy[_2_]
April 22nd 09, 11:10 AM
cindys wrote:
> And for the medications that are not human or are human but only in
> much larger doses, try 1-800-PETMEDS.
>
> I get my cats' Tumil-K (potassium supplement) from Pet Meds: 100 pills
> for $21 rather than 100 pills for $38 (at my vet). All orders over $39
> are shipped for free.
>
> The furosemide 2.5 mg and enalapril (can't remember the dose off the
> top of my head) are about half the price the vet charges.
>
> I was paying my vet $8 for 100 gelcaps, which are clear, empty
> capsules (I combine the pills in one clear capsule so the cat is
> getting one pill rather than four). At the Capsuline website, the
> gelcaps were 1000 for $16. I am currently using size 2. IIRC, the
> shipping was free from Capsuline as well.
> Best regards,
> ---Cindy S.

Thanks, Cindy, again. Please see my reply to rschweitzer above. Can I
ask you how your vet reacts to knowing you are going elsewhere to buy
meds. Maybe your vet practice is in a different situation/context from
the one we have here, though I suppose we could always arrange to see
our vet, sit down with her, and explain that we are not in a position to
pay their prices and would she mind, even recommend, us buying
elsewhere?

Eddy.

Eddy[_2_]
April 22nd 09, 11:25 AM
Hi Cindy.

Thanks. You clearly believe so strongly in this that I will wait till
the coming month's meds run out and when returning to the vet to get the
next month's will broach the Plavix possibility - ask what they think,
do they supply, at what cost, etc.

Thanks too for the pill-popper suggestion. Have considered it before
but can see that it would be too stressful for us and for the cat - just
getting into position alone. The tuna and the yoghourt work
beautifully, despite the price.

Eddy.

cindys
April 22nd 09, 01:54 PM
On Apr 22, 6:10*am, Eddy >
wrote:
> cindys wrote:
> > And for the medications that are not human or are human but only in
> > much larger doses, try 1-800-PETMEDS.
>
> > I get my cats' Tumil-K (potassium supplement) from Pet Meds: 100 pills
> > for $21 rather than 100 pills for $38 (at my vet). All orders over $39
> > are shipped for free.
>
> > The furosemide 2.5 mg and enalapril (can't remember the dose off the
> > top of my head) are about half the price the vet charges.
>
> > I was paying my vet $8 for 100 gelcaps, which are clear, empty
> > capsules (I combine the pills in one clear capsule so the cat is
> > getting one pill rather than four). At the Capsuline website, the
> > gelcaps were 1000 for $16. I am currently using size 2. IIRC, the
> > shipping was free from Capsuline as well.
> > Best regards,
> > ---Cindy S.
>
> Thanks, Cindy, again. *Please see my reply to rschweitzer above. *Can I
> ask you how your vet reacts to knowing you are going elsewhere to buy
> meds. *Maybe your vet practice is in a different situation/context from
> the one we have here, though I suppose we could always arrange to see
> our vet, sit down with her, and explain that we are not in a position to
> pay their prices and would she mind, even recommend, us buying
> elsewhere?
----------
Well, I'm sure our vet would prefer that we get all the meds from her
(the ones she carries anyway), but when we don't, she doesn't say
much. I have never discussed it with her. I simply told the
receptionist that we would be getting the medications from PETMEDS
(where applicable). We are certainly not the only family who shops
elsewhere (the receptionist told me it was quite common for clients to
get meds elsewhere). A lot of people must be doing so, as 1-800-
PETMEDS is a booming business. When you place an order with them, they
phone the vet for you and request the prescription. Additionally, the
vet doesn't dispense everything, and it is not unusual for her to
write us prescriptions to be filled in a local drugstore. For sure,
she doesn't dispense Plavix. My cat is on the following meds (I've
indicated which ones I COULD be getting from her). The last three she
simply doesn't carry, and we couldn't get them from her even if we
wanted to:

Tumil K (available from the vet).
Enalapril (available from the vet).
Furosemide (available from vet).
Clear empty capsules (available from vet).
Plavix (she wrote us a prescription to be filled elsewhere). At my
request, the vet office faxed the prescription to the Canadian
pharmacy.
Diltiazem (she wrote us a prescription to be filled elsewhere).
Lactulose (she wrote us a prescription to be filled elsewhere, but it
is sold over-the-counter in Canada).

(When we had a cat who required Lantus insulin, we had to get that
from the drugstore as well).

Our vet practice is a very wealthy practice with multiple offices. The
veterinarians who work in each office are considered part owners.
(FTR, it's not one of the national chains. It's a local business that
simply grew over the years. The original vet retired and started
selling parts of the practice to the vets who worked for him.)

I don't feel bad about buying meds elsewhere because the practice is
wealthy and because we currently have four cats, one of whom is
currently elderly (i.e., lots of vet visits). We have had several
elderly cats in the past few years (two of whom had CRF and one who
now has the cardiomyopathy), so that's a lot of medical care. That's a
lot of checkups, grooming, dental procedures, x-rays, etc. This other
stuff more than makes up for the loss of profit on the meds.
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

cindys
April 22nd 09, 01:59 PM
On Apr 22, 6:25*am, Eddy >
wrote:
> Hi Cindy.
>
> Thanks. *You clearly believe so strongly in this that I will wait till
> the coming month's meds run out and when returning to the vet to get the
> next month's will broach the Plavix possibility - ask what they think,
> do they supply, at what cost, etc.

I promise you your vet doesn't supply it. But Cornell recommends it
(as did my mother's cardiologist). Aspirin is not just as good at
preventing clots. If your vet agrees you should try it (and why would
she object?), you will not be able to get it from her. The Canadian
pharmacy is going to be cheaper for you than anywhere in the USA.
(Plavix/clopidogrel is not available at PETMEDS either). Again, it's
because the generic is available in Canada but not in the USA, and
you'll be paying for this with cash out of pocket.

The only caveat is that you have described that your cat has required
thoracocentesis multiple times. This has not been the case for my cat
(after the initial crisis in December 2007). The Plavix will prevent
clot formation but can't do anything to prevent the fluid buildup in
your cat's chest.
Best regards,
---Cindy S.
>
> Thanks too for the pill-popper suggestion. *Have considered it before
> but can see that it would be too stressful for us and for the cat - just
> getting into position alone. *The tuna and the yoghourt work
> beautifully, despite the price.
>
> Eddy.

cindys
April 22nd 09, 02:05 PM
On Apr 22, 8:54*am, cindys > wrote:
snip
>
> Tumil K (available from the vet).
> Enalapril (available from the vet).
> Furosemide (available from vet).
> Clear empty capsules (available from vet).
> Plavix (she wrote us a prescription to be filled elsewhere). At my
> request, the vet office faxed the prescription to the Canadian
> pharmacy.
> Diltiazem (she wrote us a prescription to be filled elsewhere).
> Lactulose (she wrote us a prescription to be filled elsewhere, but it
> is sold over-the-counter in Canada).
-----------
I forgot to list the Pepcid (famotidine) which is available over-the-
counter in any local drugstore. The vet does not carry it. Just be
sure that you buy the regular stuff and not the "Pepcid Complete."
The cat requires only a very small amount (2.5 to 5 mg daily). Some
people will give their cats the Pepcid (famotidine) only every other
day.
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

April 22nd 09, 05:42 PM
> Thanks, "rschweitzer" for this. * Bought another month's supply of drugs
> yesterday for 30 US dollars, plus a further stack of tins of tuna and
> pots of natural yoghurt to embed his medication, as well as the normal
> tins of cat-food. *Pricey indeed, so I appreciate the suggestion about
> trying to get the drugs elsewhere. *The thing is we're in a very
> isolated rural spot here and the closest vet is a 20-minute drive away.
> The next vet after that is 30 minutes drive away. *So we couldn't really
> chop and change vets in the future, if we wanted to, which we don't.
> Our vet is genuinely concerned and very good. *Her practice is not a
> wealthy one. *People in this area don't have much dosh. *I think that if
> we were to ask her to let us continue to consult her but not to buy the
> drugs from her then she would not be too happy, and she might well then
> feel she should charge us for chats and emergency phone-calls etc.,
> which at the moment she is not. *So I think we need to stick with our
> vet and buy the meds from her at her price.
>
> Eddy.

Eddy,
I understand your concerns, as I grew up in a rural community myself.
FWIW, I don't see the harm in broaching the subject with your vet. A
good vet will respect your wishes and reasonable requests, and asking
for a script is certainly reasonable IMO. My own vet will happily
write me a script--and does not charge for phone chats/callbacks/
questions/etc. It's simply a business practice; nothing personal
against the vet.

Rene

Eddy[_2_]
April 24th 09, 10:55 AM
cindys wrote:
> Well, I'm sure our vet would prefer that we get all the meds from her
> (the ones she carries anyway), but when we don't, she doesn't say
> much. I have never discussed it with her. I simply told the
> receptionist that we would be getting the medications from PETMEDS
> (where applicable). We are certainly not the only family who shops
> elsewhere (the receptionist told me it was quite common for clients to
> get meds elsewhere). A lot of people must be doing so, as 1-800-
> PETMEDS is a booming business. When you place an order with them, they
> phone the vet for you and request the prescription. Additionally, the
> vet doesn't dispense everything, and it is not unusual for her to
> write us prescriptions to be filled in a local drugstore. For sure,
> she doesn't dispense Plavix. My cat is on the following meds (I've
> indicated which ones I COULD be getting from her). The last three she
> simply doesn't carry, and we couldn't get them from her even if we
> wanted to:
>
> Tumil K (available from the vet).
> Enalapril (available from the vet).
> Furosemide (available from vet).
> Clear empty capsules (available from vet).
> Plavix (she wrote us a prescription to be filled elsewhere). At my
> request, the vet office faxed the prescription to the Canadian
> pharmacy.
> Diltiazem (she wrote us a prescription to be filled elsewhere).
> Lactulose (she wrote us a prescription to be filled elsewhere, but it
> is sold over-the-counter in Canada).
>
> (When we had a cat who required Lantus insulin, we had to get that
> from the drugstore as well).
>
> Our vet practice is a very wealthy practice with multiple offices. The
> veterinarians who work in each office are considered part owners.
> (FTR, it's not one of the national chains. It's a local business that
> simply grew over the years. The original vet retired and started
> selling parts of the practice to the vets who worked for him.)
>
> I don't feel bad about buying meds elsewhere because the practice is
> wealthy and because we currently have four cats, one of whom is
> currently elderly (i.e., lots of vet visits). We have had several
> elderly cats in the past few years (two of whom had CRF and one who
> now has the cardiomyopathy), so that's a lot of medical care. That's a
> lot of checkups, grooming, dental procedures, x-rays, etc. This other
> stuff more than makes up for the loss of profit on the meds.
> Best regards,
> ---Cindy S.
>
Hi, Cindy. I think you've put your finger on why we feel reluctant not
to buy the meds from our vet: the practice is small, independent, and
there are certainly no signs in the humble little building they have
that they are raking it in. They also seemed worked off their feet,
what with the pets being brought in and all the other problems with
livestock - this area is all about sheep, cattle, and horses. So I
guess this is why we feel we at least ought to buy our meds from them,
in return for their good practice. But if they had all the trappings of
wealth, like yours, I think we would feel happy about shopping online.

Eddy.

Eddy[_2_]
April 24th 09, 11:00 AM
cindys wrote:
> The only caveat is that you have described that your cat has required
> thoracocentesis multiple times. This has not been the case for my cat
> (after the initial crisis in December 2007). The Plavix will prevent
> clot formation but can't do anything to prevent the fluid buildup in
> your cat's chest.
> Best regards,
> ---Cindy S.

Hi again, Cindy. It hasn't been necessary to mention it before, but
possibly I should mention it to you now: we are in the UK so the whole
business of getting meds through the post could be quite different here,
not so easy. Trying to buy ANYTHING online from the States or Canada is
problematical with regard to getting through Customs. I bought
something from Australia a while back, and the postman wouldn't give it
to me until I paid him a hefty Excise duty first!

Eddy.

cindys
April 24th 09, 01:39 PM
On Apr 24, 5:55*am, Eddy >
wrote:
> cindys wrote:
> > Well, I'm sure our vet would prefer that we get all the meds from her
> > (the ones she carries anyway), but when we don't, she doesn't say
> > much. I have never discussed it with her. I simply told the
> > receptionist that we would be getting the medications from PETMEDS
> > (where applicable). We are certainly not the only family who shops
> > elsewhere (the receptionist told me it was quite common for clients to
> > get meds elsewhere). A lot of people must be doing so, as 1-800-
> > PETMEDS is a booming business. When you place an order with them, they
> > phone the vet for you and request the prescription. Additionally, the
> > vet doesn't dispense everything, and it is not unusual for her to
> > write us prescriptions to be filled in a local drugstore. For sure,
> > she doesn't dispense Plavix. My cat is on the following meds (I've
> > indicated which ones I COULD be getting from her). The last three she
> > simply doesn't carry, and we couldn't get them from her even if we
> > wanted to:
>
> > Tumil K (available from the vet).
> > Enalapril (available from the vet).
> > Furosemide (available from vet).
> > Clear empty capsules (available from vet).
> > Plavix (she wrote us a prescription to be filled elsewhere). At my
> > request, the vet office faxed the prescription to the Canadian
> > pharmacy.
> > Diltiazem (she wrote us a prescription to be filled elsewhere).
> > Lactulose (she wrote us a prescription to be filled elsewhere, but it
> > is sold over-the-counter in Canada).
>
> > (When we had a cat who required Lantus insulin, we had to get that
> > from the drugstore as well).
>
> > Our vet practice is a very wealthy practice with multiple offices. The
> > veterinarians who work in each office are considered part owners.
> > (FTR, it's not one of the national chains. It's a local business that
> > simply grew over the years. The original vet retired and started
> > selling parts of the practice to the vets who worked for him.)
>
> > I don't feel bad about buying meds elsewhere because the practice is
> > wealthy and because we currently have four cats, one of whom is
> > currently elderly (i.e., lots of vet visits). We have had several
> > elderly cats in the past few years (two of whom had CRF and one who
> > now has the cardiomyopathy), so that's a lot of medical care. That's a
> > lot of checkups, grooming, dental procedures, x-rays, etc. This other
> > stuff more than makes up for the loss of profit on the meds.
> > Best regards,
> > ---Cindy S.
>
> Hi, Cindy. *I think you've put your finger on why we feel reluctant not
> to buy the meds from our vet: the practice is small, independent, and
> there are certainly no signs in the humble little building they have
> that they are raking it in. *They also seemed worked off their feet,
> what with the pets being brought in and all the other problems with
> livestock - this area is all about sheep, cattle, and horses. *So I
> guess this is why we feel we at least ought to buy our meds from them,
> in return for their good practice. *But if they had all the trappings of
> wealth, like yours, I think we would feel happy about shopping online.
--------------
I can understand why you want to buy meds from the vet. In your
situation, I would do the same.
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

cindys
April 24th 09, 01:45 PM
On Apr 24, 6:00*am, Eddy >
wrote:
> cindys wrote:
> > The only caveat is that you have described that your cat has required
> > thoracocentesis multiple times. This has not been the case for my cat
> > (after the initial crisis in December 2007). The Plavix will prevent
> > clot formation but can't do anything to prevent the fluid buildup in
> > your cat's chest.
> > Best regards,
> > ---Cindy S.
>
> Hi again, Cindy. *It hasn't been necessary to mention it before, but
> possibly I should mention it to you now: we are in the UK so the whole
> business of getting meds through the post could be quite different here,
> not so easy. *Trying to buy ANYTHING online from the States or Canada is
> problematical with regard to getting through Customs. *I bought
> something from Australia a while back, and the postman wouldn't give it
> to me until I paid him a hefty Excise duty first! *
>
> Eddy.
------------------
On another of the regular newsgroups I participate in, there are
mostly American posters, but there are a few from the UK. I am smiling
as I think of all the times the one UK poster reminds us that the
whole world isn't American. Sometimes a poster will say "this
country," and he'll respond "which country? The UK?" And he was not
too happy when many of us were discussing our recent presidential
election, so he was sure to include a few posts about politics in
Britain. So, I apologize for making this assumption. I agree that
ordering things online from America or Canada may be difficult for
you. And WRT the Plavix/clopidogrel, if clopidogrel (generic) is
available in the UK, you may be able to buy it at your local pharmacy
for the same or less as it costs me to buy it from Canada online. It's
only in the United States that the generic clopidogrel is
unavailable.
Good luck.
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

Eddy[_2_]
May 1st 09, 12:56 PM
cindys wrote:
> ------------------
> On another of the regular newsgroups I participate in, there are
> mostly American posters, but there are a few from the UK. I am smiling
> as I think of all the times the one UK poster reminds us that the
> whole world isn't American. Sometimes a poster will say "this
> country," and he'll respond "which country? The UK?" And he was not
> too happy when many of us were discussing our recent presidential
> election, so he was sure to include a few posts about politics in
> Britain. So, I apologize for making this assumption. I agree that
> ordering things online from America or Canada may be difficult for
> you.

Hi, Cindy. I always keep in mind when I visit this group that it is
mainly composed of Americans and so I write accordingly, i.e. I try to
make what I write non-UK-specific!

>And WRT the Plavix/clopidogrel, if clopidogrel (generic) is
> available in the UK, you may be able to buy it at your local pharmacy
> for the same or less as it costs me to buy it from Canada online. It's
> only in the United States that the generic clopidogrel is
> unavailable.

Thanks for this. Have made a note to ask the Vet about its availability
here, and its price. I'll see what she says.

Many many thanks for all your great help.

Eddy.

Eddy[_2_]
July 14th 09, 10:20 AM
Hello. Three months ago I asked in this group when people thought it
was time to "call it a day" with regard to a very ill pet and putting
him/her to sleep. Some people were extremely helpful, most particularly
CindyS, and in the end the advice proved to be very helpful. When the
time came, we knew.

Out extraordinary little cat is no more. We have both cried and cried.
Two days before he was put to sleep he was so alive and active that he
had brought in a baby rabbit. And even the day before he died there was
a wild commotion and cries in the hedge with a pheasant then fleeing
into the field opposite: the cat with the tragic heart condition then
being discovered looking gleeful and victorious beside the point of
exit! So, right up until the day when he suddenly went right downhill,
he had had about four months of great quality life - all due to his
four-meds-a-day routine. It was very demanding cutting up the tablets
accurately and administering them to him twice a day and at exactly the
right time, and of course we had had to indulged in all sorts of
subterfuges with pate, yoghourt, and tuna to get the meds down his
throat. But every further day of health made it worthwhile.

On the morning of the day of his passing however he didn't come eagerly
for his breakfast. He moved from the porch window through to the
kitchen in three segments, each at my repeated urging. Then as the
morning went on we saw he was in difficulty. By lunchtime we had
noticed that he could not even lie down: he would rapidly get up again
and crouch, bewildered, his mouth open to maximise intake of air. I
discussed it all on the phone with the vet and the options were either
to transport him up hill and down dale to be hospitalised for a second
shaving and operation to drain his lung cavities, or let him go quickly,
in peace. The first option would have been too traumatic for him in the
state he was in and clearly the treatment he has been on, the only
treatment there is, cannot provide permanent relief. The vet came
quickly once I had rung a third time. He seemed very professional. We
didn't know him. Unfortunately the vet who had been caring for the cat
was off duty on the day in question. By the time the vet arrived the
cat had become so desperate he had leapt up onto my desk to look at me
and plead for assistance, just as he had leapt up onto the mantelpiece
at Christmas to gaze down upon me and beg for help. He just knew that
somehow I help. He didn't know how, but there was such trust there. We
brought the vet up to my study and he sat at my desk, took the cat in
his arms, petted him a little, and then proceeded to give him the
injections.

Now I wish to broach the reason for sharing this experience with you. I
need information from people who are familiar with putting cats to
sleep.

The beloved cat has been treated with respect and dignity since it was a
kitten. He was only four and a half years old. He behaved towards us
like a loving child. He would never attack us, scratch us, hiss at us,
or anything like that. In hindsight I wish I told the vet this before
bringing him into the room, but as it was we were in such an emotional
state and we just assumed that the vet would treat our "child" with the
same care and love that we have.

The vet sat in my chair, placed two syringes and a stethoscope on the
desktop, took the cat in his arms and pressed him down so that the cat's
head was in the crook of his left arm. The cat looked comfortable and,
of course, in spite of his great difficulty with breathing he was
looking at me with some alarm. (Who on earth was this stranger?)

Holding the cat on his lap with his left arm, with his right hand the
vet picked up one of the syringes and pushed it into the scruff of the
cat's neck. This was done quickly and with a degree of force. The cat,
on death's door all morning, immediately became extremely alarmed, his
eyes dilated with fear, and he pushed himself upwards and sought to
escape. The vet put down the syringe and then used his right hand to
grab the cat by the scruff of the neck and hold him up for about five
seconds, getting control of him. We were freaked out by this. It was
totally unexpected but we assumed, in the moment, the vet knew what he
was doing. But it did seem unnecessary, to us at least. He then
lowered the cat down, back into the previous position, saying it would
take five minutes for the anaesthetic to take effect. As he lowered the
cat back down into the crook of his left arm, the cat began harkling and
fighting at its throat with its two front paws. The cat was so clearly
distressed. I felt like I had utterly betrayed him. Throughout this
whole sequence of events the vet was so cool and professional, talking
quietly, and in control. Within 15 seconds or so the cat stopped
physically resisting. In hindsight I think that maybe although it
looked like the cat was being cradled in the vet's left arm he was
actually being quite forcefully held.

After five minutes the cat was truly immobile. His eyes were wide and
open and he seemed to be looking at me, kneeling on the floor looking
into his face and stroking his head, but the vet said he was "under".
The vet then took the second syringe and pushed it into the same area,
the scruff of the neck, as before. It was then just a matter of waiting
for the heart to stop beating. During this period, the vet stroked the
animal but I couldn't help noticing he was looking around my study,
noting things, like the pictures on the walls and so on. At one point
he remarked on one of my books and said he had read it as a youngster.
With tears streaming out of my eyes I wasn't about to start yabbering on
about some book so I didn't develop that conversation.

After another five minutes the vet said he believed the heart had
stopped beating. He then took his stethoscope, listened, and confirmed
that the creature had passed on. We then laid him gently on a plastic
bag in case any fluids etc should escape from him. We briefly discussed
how deep down we need to dig before burying him and arrangements as to
paying the bill, and then the vet left.

This happened about two weeks ago. Since then we have been wondering
occasionally about the manner in which the cat was relieved of his
suffering. As I said above, we didn't know the vet at all, but we have
come to understand that ordinarily, in this farming area, he deals with
large animals, livestock, horses, and so on, possibly including dogs.
We understand the vet who had been caring for our cat all along deals
with "small animals". In hindsight we wonder if the vet put our cat to
sleep as if he were a sheep or a calf, rather than a cat that was a
gentle as a child - as opposed to a feral cat.

We wonder if the "small animal" vet might have used an entirely
different approach. Might she have been more gentle? Might she have
shaved him a little first in order to find a vein and then ensure that
the anaesthetic circulated intravenously, so that the cat might simply
have drifted off like human beings do when they are put under general
anaesthetic in a hospital situation?

On the other hand, our cat had serious cardiomyopathy which was causing
a serious breathing problem, since fluid had clearly once again built up
around his lungs and impeded his breathing capacity. Maybe such a heart
and such a pair of lung react to anaesthetic with alarm and violence?
Maybe the vet's manner of administering the anaesthetic was perfectly
normal in the circumstances?

We would be so grateful for people's thoughts. We have thought about
seeking to have a private word with the "small animals" vet who had
cared for our cat for so long, but the problem is that she is not likely
to indict the other vet, who is her employer. Furthermore, we realise
we could cause strain between the two of them.

Obviously it would be easy to damn the vet's behaviour and say he was
out of line and claim that the cat should have felt no more pain or
alarm that what he was already feeling prior to the vet's arrival.
However, we realise that quite possibly in the circumstances the vet
handled the procedure as well as anyone could.

Thank you.

Eddy.


cindys wrote:
> In my opinion, you make your decision on the basis of the cat's
> quality of life. If medications are keeping him alive but he's
> spending his whole day lying in the corner, it's time to call it a
> day. OTOH, if the medications are keeping him alive, but he's spending
> his day frolicking, it's too soon to call it a day. Even if you know
> you may have a downturn in a week or a month. You can always call it a
> day when you see the downturn.
>
> I have a cat with very severe heart disease (although he has not
> experienced the repeated episodes of fluid-buildup-induced respiratory
> distress followed by periods of dehydration that you have described in
> your cat). My cat ended up in the animal emergency room on December
> 30, 2007. His prognosis was grim. He was in respiratory distress,
> every chamber of his heart was enlarged, he had leaky valves, blood
> clots just asking to form. They drained his chest, prescribed some
> medication and gave him "a few months at most." Our regular vet
> estimated his remaining lifespan to be "maybe another month."
>
> It's now been nearly a year and a half, and we still have the cat, and
> he is still enjoying a really good quality of life, eating well
> (thanks to Pepcid), going up and down the stairs, jumping onto (low)
> tables, sleeping in my son's bed, etc. When the time comes, we won't
> hesitate to call it a day, but that day will come only once. In the
> meantime, the cat is happy, and we're appreciating every day we have
> him. Every living creature is going to get sick and die someday. You
> don't want to hasten that day but neither do you want to prolong the
> suffering when it comes. I would say it is time to call it a day if
> and when: Your cat is spending much of his day lying in a corner. He
> doesn't want to eat (and you're already tried giving him Pepcid - ask
> your vet for the proper dose for a cat, and don't use the extra
> strength). He stops grooming. He stops using the litter box. He hides.
> He's wobbly on his feet. These are all signs that he's had enough. But
> if he's happy and frolicking, it's too soon. Take your cue from him.
>
> (BTW, I saw that you wrote in another thread that you're giving your
> cat aspirin - I would assume to prevent clots. You might want to think
> about using Plavix (clopidogrel) instead. Our cat is taking four or
> five different meds for his heart, but I believe it's the Lasix
> (furosemide) and the clopidogrel that are responsible for keeping him
> alive. The potential for blood clots is huge for cats with heart
> disease. The medication is expensive in the USA because we only have
> the brand-name available to us, but you can get it generic from a
> Canadian pharmacy. I used Canada Pharmacy online. It cost me around
> $80 for 100 pills. The cat takes only 1/4 pill per day, so 100 pills
> are enough to last for a year and a half. In the USA, it costs $135
> for 30 pills at CVS or Rite Aid.)
> Good luck to you and your kitty.
> Best regards,
> ---Cindy S.
>

cybercat
July 14th 09, 03:53 PM
"Eddy" > wrote in message
...
> Hello. Three months ago I asked in this group when people thought it
> was time to "call it a day" with regard to a very ill pet and putting
> him/her to sleep. Some people were extremely helpful, most particularly
> CindyS, and in the end the advice proved to be very helpful. When the
> time came, we knew.
>
> Out extraordinary little cat is no more. We have both cried and cried.
I'm so sorry for your loss, and I can tell your cat had the best care. Bless
you. I'm sorry the end was hard. I think having a compassionate vet is
important, more for the human's good than the cat's even. We have had two
cats "put to sleep." In both cases there were two shots. In both cases the
vets were very kind. One of our cats, though she was suffering terribly, was
very strong and had to be given extra stuff in order to pass, and that was
terrible, but I would not say she suffered, just that her body rightly
protested the process. (It was in keeping with her personality, she fought
everything she didn't like, including reflections in ceramic mugs and such
.... ) I think it may be different with each cat.

The most important thing is, you were in a position to save your cat
suffering, and you were strong enough to do it. Where he is, he understands
now, and loves you for it. That's what I believe, anyway. Still and all,
what you did has to be the hardest thing we ever have to do for a loved one.

Eddy[_2_]
July 14th 09, 06:31 PM
cybercat wrote:
>One of our cats, though she was suffering terribly, was
> very strong and had to be given extra stuff in order to pass, and that was
> terrible, but I would not say she suffered, just that her body rightly
> protested the process. (It was in keeping with her personality, she fought
> everything she didn't like, including reflections in ceramic mugs and such
> .... ) I think it may be different with each cat.

Thanks for this, Cybercat. We haven't considered that maybe it was just
a natural self-preserving instinctive reaction that our cat had. But
even if it was, I'm now wondering if a good vet can accommodate that and
give the first injection in such a way that the animal doesn't freak
out.

Anyway, I appreciate your kind words, Cybercat. Yes, I know we did all
we humanly could . . . except maybe talk to the vet first and make him
understand that our cat was the gentlest and most agreeable creature.
We have a friend who was so distraught when his cat needed to put to
sleep that he tells me he just handed the animal over to the vet and
then left and ran in floods of tears. He doesn't know what kind of end
the animal came to. Better to see it happen, I think.

Thanks again.
Eddy.

Granby
July 15th 09, 03:51 AM
"Eddy" > wrote in message
...
> cybercat wrote:
>>One of our cats, though she was suffering terribly, was
>> very strong and had to be given extra stuff in order to pass, and that
>> was
>> terrible, but I would not say she suffered, just that her body rightly
>> protested the process. (It was in keeping with her personality, she
>> fought
>> everything she didn't like, including reflections in ceramic mugs and
>> such
>> .... ) I think it may be different with each cat.
>
> Thanks for this, Cybercat. We haven't considered that maybe it was just
> a natural self-preserving instinctive reaction that our cat had. But
> even if it was, I'm now wondering if a good vet can accommodate that and
> give the first injection in such a way that the animal doesn't freak
> out.
>
> Anyway, I appreciate your kind words, Cybercat. Yes, I know we did all
> we humanly could . . . except maybe talk to the vet first and make him
> understand that our cat was the gentlest and most agreeable creature.
> We have a friend who was so distraught when his cat needed to put to
> sleep that he tells me he just handed the animal over to the vet and
> then left and ran in floods of tears. He doesn't know what kind of end
> the animal came to. Better to see it happen, I think.
>
> Thanks again.
> Eddy.

I have never had to put a cat to sleep but did my "heart dog" I held her as
the vet shaved her paw and did what he had to. There was no trying to get
away of such. I KNOW two of my cats would fight like hell if it came to it.
They don't like strangers touching them.

In the end, your cat trusted you to do your best by him and you did. Please
don't punish yourself in second guessing things. I am sure every cat reacts
differently.

Eddy[_2_]
July 15th 09, 08:24 AM
Granby wrote:
> I have never had to put a cat to sleep but did my "heart dog" I held her as
> the vet shaved her paw and did what he had to. There was no trying to get
> away of such. I KNOW two of my cats would fight like hell if it came to it.
> They don't like strangers touching them.

Thanks, Granby for your thoughts.

Your reference to your vet shaving your dog's paw a little, is the first
confirmation I have had that some vets do this when putting an animal to
sleep. If this can assist in a cat going peacefully, then this could
easily have been done in the case of our cat. I now need to find out if
this method is used for cats - or perhaps they shave them somewhere else
to find a vein.

> In the end, your cat trusted you to do your best by him and you did. Please
> don't punish yourself in second guessing things. I am sure every cat reacts
> differently.

Thanks for this too. It might sound like we are punishing ourselves,
but we do need to know if these last moments of terror were unavoidable
or not. There are two reasons.

Firstly, for the six months that we were aware that out cat had serious
cardiomyopathy we troubled ourselves to give him the very best care and
quality of life WITH THE EXPECTATION that when the time came we could
ensure he passed away peacefully. In the event, that expectation was
completely dashed. To put it bluntly, we paid a considerable amount of
money to have the cat put peacefully to sleep . . . and he wasn't.

Secondly, the deceased cat has a twin brother, just as delightful and,
fortunately, without any obvious health problems. But one day he too
will probably need an assisted death. If at all possible we would like
to avoid his death coming at the end of five minutes of terror. No
animal or human being should have to die like this.

Eddy.

Richard Evans
July 15th 09, 04:04 PM
Eddy > wrote:

>Your reference to your vet shaving your dog's paw a little, is the first
>confirmation I have had that some vets do this when putting an animal to
>sleep.


We just lost our fourth last week. Ripley was 16, the grand old man of
the house, a long haired ball of fluff who was the acknowledged leader
of the pack of six cats. He lost a very long fight with diabetes and
went into kidney failure from which there was no recovery. We were
both present at the end, my wife holding him, as she was always his
favorite. With Ripley, as with the three before, the vet shaved a
spot, injected a sedative, followed by the final injection. The end
was very peaceful and dignified. Ripley was big on dignity.

cybercat
July 15th 09, 04:21 PM
"Eddy" > wrote in message
...
> Granby wrote:
>> I have never had to put a cat to sleep but did my "heart dog" I held her
>> as
>> the vet shaved her paw and did what he had to. There was no trying to
>> get
>> away of such. I KNOW two of my cats would fight like hell if it came to
>> it.
>> They don't like strangers touching them.
>
> Thanks, Granby for your thoughts.
>
> Your reference to your vet shaving your dog's paw a little, is the first
> confirmation I have had that some vets do this when putting an animal to
> sleep. If this can assist in a cat going peacefully, then this could
> easily have been done in the case of our cat. I now need to find out if
> this method is used for cats - or perhaps they shave them somewhere else
> to find a vein.
>
>> In the end, your cat trusted you to do your best by him and you did.
>> Please
>> don't punish yourself in second guessing things. I am sure every cat
>> reacts
>> differently.
>
> Thanks for this too. It might sound like we are punishing ourselves,
> but we do need to know if these last moments of terror were unavoidable
> or not. There are two reasons.
>
> Firstly, for the six months that we were aware that out cat had serious
> cardiomyopathy we troubled ourselves to give him the very best care and
> quality of life WITH THE EXPECTATION that when the time came we could
> ensure he passed away peacefully. In the event, that expectation was
> completely dashed. To put it bluntly, we paid a considerable amount of
> money to have the cat put peacefully to sleep . . . and he wasn't.
>

I understand how you feel, but I think you need to let this go. Don't use
the vet again, let him know how you feel, then drop him. But you are doing
nobody--including yourself--dwelling on this.

cybercat
July 15th 09, 04:45 PM
"cybercat" > wrote
> I understand how you feel, but I think you need to let this go. Don't use
> the vet again, let him know how you feel, then drop him. But you are doing
> nobody--including yourself--any good dwelling on this.
>

Eddy[_2_]
July 15th 09, 05:31 PM
Richard Evans wrote:
> We just lost our fourth last week. Ripley was 16, the grand old man of
> the house, a long haired ball of fluff who was the acknowledged leader
> of the pack of six cats. He lost a very long fight with diabetes and
> went into kidney failure from which there was no recovery. We were
> both present at the end, my wife holding him, as she was always his
> favorite. With Ripley, as with the three before, the vet shaved a
> spot, injected a sedative, followed by the final injection. The end
> was very peaceful and dignified. Ripley was big on dignity.

Richard, thank you. That's two people who have confirmed that the
procedure we witnessed was uncaring, that our vet could have shaved a
spot and inserted the needle in the right place and gently. As it was
he just shoved it into the scruff of our cat's neck. For all we know it
pierced his throat.

Our problem is that we are way out in the country and there is only one
vet practice and even they are a 20 minute drive away.

What's pretty clear now, from what you and Granby have shared, is that
when it comes time for the twin brother we must try to get another vet
in the practice to visit us, of if only the same vet is available we
give him a firm but gentle talking to before he comes out and tell him
that we expect the cat to be treated carefully and respectfully and that
should involve the addition of any more pain. We must even spell out
that we expect him to shave the cat a little and inject the anaesthetic
in such a way that the cat is not alarmed and drifts off gently - as
humans do in hospital before under-going an explanation.

Thanks very much for helping us to this point of knowledge. We can now
make sure what happened our cat won't happen again, to our other cat.
And hopefully some people reading this will be better prepared for when
they have to ask a vet to come and put their cats to sleep.

Cheers,
Eddy.

Granby
July 15th 09, 09:55 PM
"cybercat" > wrote in message
...
>
> "cybercat" > wrote
>> I understand how you feel, but I think you need to let this go. Don't use
>> the vet again, let him know how you feel, then drop him. But you are
>> doing nobody--including yourself--any good dwelling on this.
>>
This is good advice, I would not use the same vet but would let the office
know why I was unhappy, in full detail. Then, I would try and console
myself with the knowledge that the upset in the final minutes had to have
been better than what the cat was going to have to deal with. You did the
best you could. Go hug your other cat and know this is the way it is. Now
that you know how it should be done, you will be better equipped when the
next time comes.

July 15th 09, 11:29 PM
> Richard, thank you. *That's two people who have confirmed that the
> procedure we witnessed was uncaring, that our vet could have shaved a
> spot and inserted the needle in the right place and gently. *As it was
> he just shoved it into the scruff of our cat's neck. *For all we know it
> pierced his throat.
>

I've had to put down a dog and 2 cats. All three were allowed to
remain on my lap. All 3 had an area shaved on their forearm. Only one
shot per animal, different than see posted by most people. But all 3
went peacefully. My dog struggled slightly, but not bad. Both cats
just relaxed like they dozed off.

I have had 2 cats die at home. One in the middle of the night. That
experience is the worst thing I have experienced in my entire life (36
years). He vomited and convulsed for half an hour. I really wish we
had a 24 hour vet back then.

My most recent loss was a cat who died in my arms as I was carrying
her to the car to go the vet again. She was anemic for several months
and then got tainted cat food. Almost as peaceful as the vet, but more
stressful for me as I wasn't expecting her to go downhill that fast. I
thought the vet could still save her. This was before the tainted food
became news, and she had just had bloodwork 3 days earlier, so her
kidneys looked fine then. I thought a blood transfusion would improve
her condition.

I agree that this vet doesn't seem to be doing euthanasia in the
kindest way. I would definitely be looking for another vet.

But at the same time, you know in your heart that you meant it to be
the kindest option, and you expected better treatment. I know you are
haunted by your cat's reaction , but try to forgive yourself. You did
what was right, even if the vet didn't. And that is not something you
could have foreseen.

Years ago, I gave a sick cat pepto bismal. My cat medical book
recommended it, and I had no idea that pepto bismal had changed its
ingredients and was no longer safe for cats. I followed the
instructions, and my cat was dead the next day. At the time, I assumed
it was for other reasons. We had only found him 3 weeks earlier,
already hit by a car. So, I figured that he just couldn't recover from
all the injuries while being so underweight already. It was 2 years
later that I learned about the pepto bismal problem, and I was
horrified. It is quite possible that I killed my cat. I do feel
guilty. But at the same time, I know I didn't do anything wrong. I
followed the directions in a medical book that should have been fine.
It never occurred to me that the book was outdated by a simple
ingredient change.

So, I do understand how a decision, made with the best intentions (and
presumably good information) can cause a death. I understand the guilt
and horror that you feel, and I can tell you that it does get better.
You were doing the right thing. It just wasn't in your control to have
the vet do it correctly.

Meghan

Eddy[_2_]
July 16th 09, 11:53 AM
Granby wrote:
> I would not use the same vet but would let the office
> know why I was unhappy, in full detail.

Yes, this is what I am slowly gearing myself up to do now. I am
pondering the best way to go about it. We live in a very rural
community here where everybody knows everybody - absolutely different
from the circumstances of a city, for example. So I am not looking
forward to doing it but I know it has to be done.

Cheers,
Eddy.

Eddy[_2_]
July 16th 09, 12:04 PM
wrote:
> So, I do understand how a decision, made with the best intentions (and
> presumably good information) can cause a death. I understand the guilt
> and horror that you feel, and I can tell you that it does get better.
> You were doing the right thing. It just wasn't in your control to have
> the vet do it correctly.

Thanks, Meghan. Don't worry, we know that it wasn't our fault. We know
we should have been able to expect that the vet would do things in the
best possible manner. (We certainly know that we have been charged
enough for the visit!) We know that if you take a loved one to hospital
you shouldn't have to take the surgeon or the anaesthetist aside and ask
them to run through everything they intend to do. Same with a pet and a
veterinary practice. But over and over in life we have come across
carelessness and malpractice and each time we believe we have learnt
something. We know that we were so overcome with grief two weeks ago
that we FORGOT our usual vigilance, we FORGOT to trouble-shoot and not
be so trusting as we used to be once upon a time. We also know that we
were entitled to be so overcome with grief that we forgot to question
the vet before he did the deed. So our anger is NOT so much with
ourselves as at that vet. And we know that we have a duty to other
cat-owners to use our anger as a fuel, to make sure that this doesn't
happen to other small animals. It must surely have happened before.
How long has it been going on? Maybe in these rural parts they don't
think much of putting a pet to sleep in the way that he did. Maybe when
we complain they will dismiss us as fussy little townies or something.
So it's quite a complex situation. But, one thing we are sure of is
that other people who love their small animals the way we have loved
ours will be grateful if they are saved from having the same experience
that we have unfortunately had.

Anyway, thanks again, Meghan. And thanks too for the third confirmation
that the most humane method involves shaving the paw of the animal and
carefully injecting the anaesthetic that way rather than just ramming
the syringe into the neck.

Cheers,
Eddy.

Granby
July 16th 09, 12:44 PM
After what my husband was put through when he was so sick, you bet I will
take a Doctor aside and ask questions. Not for details but a general idea.

I am glad you see it was the fault of the person and not yours.
"Eddy" > wrote in message
...
> wrote:
>> So, I do understand how a decision, made with the best intentions (and
>> presumably good information) can cause a death. I understand the guilt
>> and horror that you feel, and I can tell you that it does get better.
>> You were doing the right thing. It just wasn't in your control to have
>> the vet do it correctly.
>
> Thanks, Meghan. Don't worry, we know that it wasn't our fault. We know
> we should have been able to expect that the vet would do things in the
> best possible manner. (We certainly know that we have been charged
> enough for the visit!) We know that if you take a loved one to hospital
> you shouldn't have to take the surgeon or the anaesthetist aside and ask
> them to run through everything they intend to do. Same with a pet and a
> veterinary practice. But over and over in life we have come across
> carelessness and malpractice and each time we believe we have learnt
> something. We know that we were so overcome with grief two weeks ago
> that we FORGOT our usual vigilance, we FORGOT to trouble-shoot and not
> be so trusting as we used to be once upon a time. We also know that we
> were entitled to be so overcome with grief that we forgot to question
> the vet before he did the deed. So our anger is NOT so much with
> ourselves as at that vet. And we know that we have a duty to other
> cat-owners to use our anger as a fuel, to make sure that this doesn't
> happen to other small animals. It must surely have happened before.
> How long has it been going on? Maybe in these rural parts they don't
> think much of putting a pet to sleep in the way that he did. Maybe when
> we complain they will dismiss us as fussy little townies or something.
> So it's quite a complex situation. But, one thing we are sure of is
> that other people who love their small animals the way we have loved
> ours will be grateful if they are saved from having the same experience
> that we have unfortunately had.
>
> Anyway, thanks again, Meghan. And thanks too for the third confirmation
> that the most humane method involves shaving the paw of the animal and
> carefully injecting the anaesthetic that way rather than just ramming
> the syringe into the neck.
>
> Cheers,
> Eddy.
>
>
>

Granby
July 16th 09, 06:02 PM
Pretty simple, to me. You know people who have had their vet do the shave,
give the shots thing while the owner is controlling the pet. NO jab the
needle or hold the cat by the scruff of the neck. Keep it short sweet and
to the point. After all you paid them to do a service and it wasn't what
you wanted.
"Eddy" > wrote in message
...
> Granby wrote:
>> I would not use the same vet but would let the office
>> know why I was unhappy, in full detail.
>
> Yes, this is what I am slowly gearing myself up to do now. I am
> pondering the best way to go about it. We live in a very rural
> community here where everybody knows everybody - absolutely different
> from the circumstances of a city, for example. So I am not looking
> forward to doing it but I know it has to be done.
>
> Cheers,
> Eddy.
>

FirstHit
July 16th 09, 09:50 PM
Eddy,

I just came upon this thread yesterday and read all 48 posts. Very
worthwhile reading for me with good comments and suggestions about a
number of considerations, including finances. Reading the posts was
comforting for me, as I lost my Kitty in late May.

I am sorry for the loss of your beloved cat and all the pre- and post-
death ordeals you've faced. I empathize with you; I struggled with
deciding when to put Kitty to sleep. It's hard enough to accept that
your cat is dying without the burden of deciding when your loved one's
life is no longer worth living and there's no reasonable hope for
recovery. With all that, my pre-death grief was worse than anything I
experienced after she was put to sleep.

I was happy with the vet's euthanasia process at the office. I went
over the procedure with her beforehand and asked her to modify her
plans to have me with Kitty through the entire thing. She agreed.
She did not do any shaving. She first gave a sedative shot in one of
the *hind* legs. Then I was given 5 minutes alone with Kitty. After
that, a second needle was inserted into the hind leg and the cat was
painlessly put to sleep. The cat appeared to take the procedure as
well as I could hope for. After she died, I was allowed as much time
as I wanted with her.

Later I learned the vet's office mishandled the body. Next time I
will make arrangements for the handling of the body directly with the
pet mortuary. Dealing with a pet's death is certainly a learning
experience, and hopefully we all will be better equipped the next time
we are faced with all these things.

When I put Kitty to sleep, I was confident that I had made the right
choice at the right time. There have been times later though that I
have questioned my decision and felt maybe I did it too soon. I have
to remind myself of the reasons it was best to do it when I did. My
brain is fine with my decision, but sometimes my emotions don't
agree. I think guilty feelings like this are not uncommon among
people like us who genuinely love our pets, but we have to not let it
pull us down. Guilt's only value is that it can move us to do things
differently next time or sometimes right a wrong.

Best wishes to you, and if you wish to give us a follow-up after you
talk to your vet, I'd be interested to read about it.

FirstHit

July 17th 09, 03:19 PM
>
> When I put Kitty to sleep, I was confident that I had made the right
> choice at the right time. *There have been times later though that I
> have questioned my decision and felt maybe I did it too soon. *I have
> to remind myself of the reasons it was best to do it when I did. *My
> brain is fine with my decision, but sometimes my emotions don't
> agree. *I think guilty feelings like this are not uncommon among
> people like us who genuinely love our pets, but we have to not let it
> pull us down. *Guilt's only value is that it can move us to do things
> differently next time or sometimes right a wrong.
>

Excellent points.

I used to have doubts about the timing of my first dog and first cat.
Like you, my brain knew it was the correct decision and the correct
time. My emotions just like to play games with me.

Then I lost the next cat at home. It was the middle of the night, and
we didn't have a 24 hour vet back then. He vomited and convulsed in my
lap with half an hour. I didn't know which he experienced or which was
worse. Not aware of the pain (and not aware of me loving him), or
knowing he was being loved, but suffering in pain. It will be 9 years
on Monday, and I still cry when I think back on that experience.

BUT! That experience made it very clear that I did the right thing
for my first cat and dog. I was able to prevent that kind of an end
for them. I don't feel the guilt or doubt anymore, because I know what
the alternative can be. And since then, I have put down another cat,
and I will probably lose my dog this year as she is 16 already.

Eddy[_2_]
July 17th 09, 06:15 PM
Dear FirstHit,

Many thanks for all of the below. It's a comfort hearing from other
people who have gone through a similar degree of consideration before
putting a beloved pet to sleep. Thank you particularly about the
information regarding the needles in the hind leg, without shaving.
There are a few new posts for me to read but nobody has yet popped up to
say that ramming the needles into the scruff of the neck is common
practice. So this is important information and confirms my hunch that
the vet was more a sick-sheep man. (We're in big sheep country here.)

Yes, I will update this group after I have spoken to the vet.

Best Wishes,
Eddy.



> Eddy,
>
> I just came upon this thread yesterday and read all 48 posts. Very
> worthwhile reading for me with good comments and suggestions about a
> number of considerations, including finances. Reading the posts was
> comforting for me, as I lost my Kitty in late May.
>
> I am sorry for the loss of your beloved cat and all the pre- and post-
> death ordeals you've faced. I empathize with you; I struggled with
> deciding when to put Kitty to sleep. It's hard enough to accept that
> your cat is dying without the burden of deciding when your loved one's
> life is no longer worth living and there's no reasonable hope for
> recovery. With all that, my pre-death grief was worse than anything I
> experienced after she was put to sleep.
>
> I was happy with the vet's euthanasia process at the office. I went
> over the procedure with her beforehand and asked her to modify her
> plans to have me with Kitty through the entire thing. She agreed.
> She did not do any shaving. She first gave a sedative shot in one of
> the *hind* legs. Then I was given 5 minutes alone with Kitty. After
> that, a second needle was inserted into the hind leg and the cat was
> painlessly put to sleep. The cat appeared to take the procedure as
> well as I could hope for. After she died, I was allowed as much time
> as I wanted with her.
>
> Later I learned the vet's office mishandled the body. Next time I
> will make arrangements for the handling of the body directly with the
> pet mortuary. Dealing with a pet's death is certainly a learning
> experience, and hopefully we all will be better equipped the next time
> we are faced with all these things.
>
> When I put Kitty to sleep, I was confident that I had made the right
> choice at the right time. There have been times later though that I
> have questioned my decision and felt maybe I did it too soon. I have
> to remind myself of the reasons it was best to do it when I did. My
> brain is fine with my decision, but sometimes my emotions don't
> agree. I think guilty feelings like this are not uncommon among
> people like us who genuinely love our pets, but we have to not let it
> pull us down. Guilt's only value is that it can move us to do things
> differently next time or sometimes right a wrong.
>
> Best wishes to you, and if you wish to give us a follow-up after you
> talk to your vet, I'd be interested to read about it.
>
> FirstHit

Eddy[_2_]
July 17th 09, 06:21 PM
Granby wrote:

> Pretty simple, to me. You know people who have had their vet do the shave,
> give the shots thing while the owner is controlling the pet. NO jab the
> needle or hold the cat by the scruff of the neck. Keep it short sweet and
> to the point. After all you paid them to do a service and it wasn't what
> you wanted.

Thanks for this Granby! I'm going to copy and paste those two lines in
the above and say just that to him. I suppose whether he apologise or
not is irrelevant.

Eddy.

> "Eddy" > wrote in message
> ...
> > Granby wrote:
> >> I would not use the same vet but would let the office
> >> know why I was unhappy, in full detail.
> >
> > Yes, this is what I am slowly gearing myself up to do now. I am
> > pondering the best way to go about it. We live in a very rural
> > community here where everybody knows everybody - absolutely different
> > from the circumstances of a city, for example. So I am not looking
> > forward to doing it but I know it has to be done.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Eddy.
> >
>
>

Michelle C.
July 18th 09, 07:31 PM
Eddy wrote:
> Hello. Three months ago I asked in this group when people thought it
> was time to "call it a day" with regard to a very ill pet and putting
> him/her to sleep. Some people were extremely helpful, most particularly
> CindyS, and in the end the advice proved to be very helpful. When the
> time came, we knew.
>
> Out extraordinary little cat is no more. We have both cried and cried.
> Two days before he was put to sleep he was so alive and active that he
> had brought in a baby rabbit. And even the day before he died there was
> a wild commotion and cries in the hedge with a pheasant then fleeing
> into the field opposite: the cat with the tragic heart condition then
> being discovered looking gleeful and victorious beside the point of
> exit! So, right up until the day when he suddenly went right downhill,
> he had had about four months of great quality life - all due to his
> four-meds-a-day routine. It was very demanding cutting up the tablets
> accurately and administering them to him twice a day and at exactly the
> right time, and of course we had had to indulged in all sorts of
> subterfuges with pate, yoghourt, and tuna to get the meds down his
> throat. But every further day of health made it worthwhile.
>
> On the morning of the day of his passing however he didn't come eagerly
> for his breakfast. He moved from the porch window through to the
> kitchen in three segments, each at my repeated urging. Then as the
> morning went on we saw he was in difficulty. By lunchtime we had
> noticed that he could not even lie down: he would rapidly get up again
> and crouch, bewildered, his mouth open to maximise intake of air. I
> discussed it all on the phone with the vet and the options were either
> to transport him up hill and down dale to be hospitalised for a second
> shaving and operation to drain his lung cavities, or let him go quickly,
> in peace. The first option would have been too traumatic for him in the
> state he was in and clearly the treatment he has been on, the only
> treatment there is, cannot provide permanent relief. The vet came
> quickly once I had rung a third time. He seemed very professional. We
> didn't know him. Unfortunately the vet who had been caring for the cat
> was off duty on the day in question. By the time the vet arrived the
> cat had become so desperate he had leapt up onto my desk to look at me
> and plead for assistance, just as he had leapt up onto the mantelpiece
> at Christmas to gaze down upon me and beg for help. He just knew that
> somehow I help. He didn't know how, but there was such trust there. We
> brought the vet up to my study and he sat at my desk, took the cat in
> his arms, petted him a little, and then proceeded to give him the
> injections.
>
> Now I wish to broach the reason for sharing this experience with you. I
> need information from people who are familiar with putting cats to
> sleep.
>
> The beloved cat has been treated with respect and dignity since it was a
> kitten. He was only four and a half years old. He behaved towards us
> like a loving child. He would never attack us, scratch us, hiss at us,
> or anything like that. In hindsight I wish I told the vet this before
> bringing him into the room, but as it was we were in such an emotional
> state and we just assumed that the vet would treat our "child" with the
> same care and love that we have.
>
> The vet sat in my chair, placed two syringes and a stethoscope on the
> desktop, took the cat in his arms and pressed him down so that the cat's
> head was in the crook of his left arm. The cat looked comfortable and,
> of course, in spite of his great difficulty with breathing he was
> looking at me with some alarm. (Who on earth was this stranger?)
>
> Holding the cat on his lap with his left arm, with his right hand the
> vet picked up one of the syringes and pushed it into the scruff of the
> cat's neck. This was done quickly and with a degree of force. The cat,
> on death's door all morning, immediately became extremely alarmed, his
> eyes dilated with fear, and he pushed himself upwards and sought to
> escape. The vet put down the syringe and then used his right hand to
> grab the cat by the scruff of the neck and hold him up for about five
> seconds, getting control of him. We were freaked out by this. It was
> totally unexpected but we assumed, in the moment, the vet knew what he
> was doing. But it did seem unnecessary, to us at least. He then
> lowered the cat down, back into the previous position, saying it would
> take five minutes for the anaesthetic to take effect. As he lowered the
> cat back down into the crook of his left arm, the cat began harkling and
> fighting at its throat with its two front paws. The cat was so clearly
> distressed. I felt like I had utterly betrayed him. Throughout this
> whole sequence of events the vet was so cool and professional, talking
> quietly, and in control. Within 15 seconds or so the cat stopped
> physically resisting. In hindsight I think that maybe although it
> looked like the cat was being cradled in the vet's left arm he was
> actually being quite forcefully held.
>
> After five minutes the cat was truly immobile. His eyes were wide and
> open and he seemed to be looking at me, kneeling on the floor looking
> into his face and stroking his head, but the vet said he was "under".
> The vet then took the second syringe and pushed it into the same area,
> the scruff of the neck, as before. It was then just a matter of waiting
> for the heart to stop beating. During this period, the vet stroked the
> animal but I couldn't help noticing he was looking around my study,
> noting things, like the pictures on the walls and so on. At one point
> he remarked on one of my books and said he had read it as a youngster.
> With tears streaming out of my eyes I wasn't about to start yabbering on
> about some book so I didn't develop that conversation.
>
> After another five minutes the vet said he believed the heart had
> stopped beating. He then took his stethoscope, listened, and confirmed
> that the creature had passed on. We then laid him gently on a plastic
> bag in case any fluids etc should escape from him. We briefly discussed
> how deep down we need to dig before burying him and arrangements as to
> paying the bill, and then the vet left.
>
> This happened about two weeks ago. Since then we have been wondering
> occasionally about the manner in which the cat was relieved of his
> suffering. As I said above, we didn't know the vet at all, but we have
> come to understand that ordinarily, in this farming area, he deals with
> large animals, livestock, horses, and so on, possibly including dogs.
> We understand the vet who had been caring for our cat all along deals
> with "small animals". In hindsight we wonder if the vet put our cat to
> sleep as if he were a sheep or a calf, rather than a cat that was a
> gentle as a child - as opposed to a feral cat.
>
> We wonder if the "small animal" vet might have used an entirely
> different approach. Might she have been more gentle? Might she have
> shaved him a little first in order to find a vein and then ensure that
> the anaesthetic circulated intravenously, so that the cat might simply
> have drifted off like human beings do when they are put under general
> anaesthetic in a hospital situation?
>
> On the other hand, our cat had serious cardiomyopathy which was causing
> a serious breathing problem, since fluid had clearly once again built up
> around his lungs and impeded his breathing capacity. Maybe such a heart
> and such a pair of lung react to anaesthetic with alarm and violence?
> Maybe the vet's manner of administering the anaesthetic was perfectly
> normal in the circumstances?
>
> We would be so grateful for people's thoughts. We have thought about
> seeking to have a private word with the "small animals" vet who had
> cared for our cat for so long, but the problem is that she is not likely
> to indict the other vet, who is her employer. Furthermore, we realise
> we could cause strain between the two of them.
>
> Obviously it would be easy to damn the vet's behaviour and say he was
> out of line and claim that the cat should have felt no more pain or
> alarm that what he was already feeling prior to the vet's arrival.
> However, we realise that quite possibly in the circumstances the vet
> handled the procedure as well as anyone could.
>
> Thank you.
>
> Eddy.
>

Hi Eddy,

First off, my condolences on your beloved cat.

I can't really answer your question, but I did have several thoughts
come to mind.

First off, you may be right about the vet being used to larger animals.
I used to live in a farming community and came to understand that
there was a difference between the big animal and little animal vets.

Secondly, putting an animal down is probably never a welcome chore for
the vet, and although he seemed aloof, this may have been his way of
coping. While not exactly the same situation, I used to work in a
hospital, and many times I had to distance myself from the situation in
order to do my job. If I'd allowed my emotions to take over, I'd have
been useless.

Thirdly, your cat may have just been struggling against the presence of
a stranger and be handled by said stranger. And/or even if the
medication didn't directly cause your cat distress, it still might have
made him feel weird, and he may have been reacting out of fear instead
of pain.

In any case, I am sorry for your loss. I hope your sorrow soon gives
way to sweet memories.

Michelle

Michelle C.
July 18th 09, 07:39 PM
Eddy wrote:
> Granby wrote:
>> I would not use the same vet but would let the office
>> know why I was unhappy, in full detail.
>
> Yes, this is what I am slowly gearing myself up to do now. I am
> pondering the best way to go about it. We live in a very rural
> community here where everybody knows everybody - absolutely different
> from the circumstances of a city, for example. So I am not looking
> forward to doing it but I know it has to be done.
>
> Cheers,
> Eddy.
>


Hi Eddy,

As a person who used to live in a rural community myself, I don't think
it hurts to share your concerns with the vet as long as you're a matter
of fact and not confrontational.

The vet may appreciate hearing what you have to say. It may be that
he's not used to small animals, and is not used to doing the IV method.
It may be that he didn't have the one dose meds that are injected
intravenously. But if you share your issues, it may be that he will be
more accommodating to the next person in your shoes.

Best regards,
Michelle

Eddy[_2_]
July 19th 09, 01:12 PM
Michelle C. wrote:
> As a person who used to live in a rural community myself, I don't think
> it hurts to share your concerns with the vet as long as you're a matter
> of fact and not confrontational.
>
> The vet may appreciate hearing what you have to say. It may be that
> he's not used to small animals, and is not used to doing the IV method.
> It may be that he didn't have the one dose meds that are injected
> intravenously. But if you share your issues, it may be that he will be
> more accommodating to the next person in your shoes.

Hi, Michelle. Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, it's going to be
interesting just putting the facts to him and seeing how he responds.

For certain he is not the vet in the practice who generally deals with
small animals but he's a late middle-aged man and we think he must
surely have put many cats to sleep during his career.

It has occurred to us in the last few days that vets have good-practise
guidelines just as doctors and other professionals so and that it must
be commonly known and accepted among vets that they should not proceed
with any operation upon an animal, particularly a beloved pet, without
first fully explaining the procedure to the owners.

Anyway, will update the group on the outcome.

Eddy.

Eddy[_2_]
July 19th 09, 02:33 PM
Michelle C. wrote:
> Thirdly, your cat may have just been struggling against the presence of
> a stranger and be handled by said stranger. And/or even if the
> medication didn't directly cause your cat distress, it still might have
> made him feel weird, and he may have been reacting out of fear instead
> of pain.

Yes, Michelle, this is a very important point. So we are arranging to
see the "small animals" vet at the practice quietly first. (She cared
for the cat over the months but was unfortunately off-duty when the day
came.) She knows the physical state that the condition was in. We need
to know from her whether the treatment the cat received was appropriate
given its specific condition. Depending on what she advises, we may
then make an appointment to air our complaint to the vet in question.

Eddy.

Michelle C.
July 19th 09, 07:26 PM
Eddy wrote:
> Michelle C. wrote:
>> Thirdly, your cat may have just been struggling against the presence of
>> a stranger and be handled by said stranger. And/or even if the
>> medication didn't directly cause your cat distress, it still might have
>> made him feel weird, and he may have been reacting out of fear instead
>> of pain.
>
> Yes, Michelle, this is a very important point. So we are arranging to
> see the "small animals" vet at the practice quietly first. (She cared
> for the cat over the months but was unfortunately off-duty when the day
> came.) She knows the physical state that the condition was in. We need
> to know from her whether the treatment the cat received was appropriate
> given its specific condition. Depending on what she advises, we may
> then make an appointment to air our complaint to the vet in question.
>
> Eddy.
>


Sounds like a very prudent strategy, Eddy. :-)

Keep us posted.
Michelle

Eddy[_2_]
July 24th 09, 11:25 AM
Hi Everyone,

I promised some of you who have been very helpful with our dilemma an
update following our talk with our vet regarding the awful way in which
our cat was put to sleep.

We saw the vet yesterday afternoon and spoke for about half an hour in
private. Firstly we assured her that we absolutely were not seeking
compensation or damages regarding the behaviour of the other vet, who
put our cat to sleep, but that we simply wanted to know facts so that we
could decide whether to approach him and tell him of our
dissatisfaction.

She confirmed that if a strong relationship is perceived between a
cat-owner and a cat then a "small animal vet" will usually remove a
little fur from a front paw (only a pair of scissors is needed) and try
to find a vein. She said that finding a vein in a cat's paw is however
not easy and neither is inserting into it accurately, because of its
small size. She said that sometimes a vein, correctly inserted into,
will burst, and then one has to move to another paw. She pointed out
that going around the paws like this with a sharp needle can be very
disconcerting for a dying animal - which may be very sensitive and wish
to defend itself or escape.

She said that even if a vein is found easily in a paw and the first
injection applied without trauma, the cat can still react strongly when
it senses the effect of the sedative or anaesthetic. It can seek to
escape or lash out. She confirmed that a vet who does not know that a
cat's nails have been trimmed or who does not know that the animal is
extremely docile would be wise to quickly hold a cat by the scruff of
the neck until it settles down if it shows any sign of alarm.

It was a great pity that on the day in question when our cat desperately
needed to be put to sleep, she happened not to be on duty and the only
vet available was a "large animal vet", the one who is responsible for
horses, cattle, and sheep in these parts. He had never met our cat, or
us, before, and it is therefore likely that he performed the procedure
that is normal in barns and on farms, and indeed even in the back room
at the vet's when cat-owners prefer not to witness the procedure.

We asked if it is not possible to make absolutely sure that any cat is
put to sleep without it experiencing any alarm at all. We asked this
with a view to what will happen to our other cat one day - unless he
gets run over or something. She said the best method would be to take
the sick animal to the vet's surgery and request that a catheter be
used. The catheter would be attached by the vet with the assistance of
a nurse. She pointed out that a very sick cat may still not take kindly
to having a catheter inserted, but then it could calm down a little
before the procedure continued. Once it had calmed down then the
sedative/anaesthetic could be applied intravenously without trauma -
unless once the animal detected the change in its system it suddenly
sought to fight for its life or escape, which is sometimes the case. Of
course, this method wasn't open to us because we knew that transporting
our cat over the hills in the condition he was in would be awfully
traumatic for him for the duration of the journey in the back of car.

Basically our experience was simply bad luck. She also pointed out
that although our cat was alarmed for the five minutes before the first
injection took effect, we need to remember that it did not realise that
it was being killed. We knew it was being killed, but it did not. So
"the horror" was more on our part than the cat's part.

I hope the above report is of help to other people. We need to remember
that the safest way to ensure a cat passes away with as little trauma
as possible is for a catheter to be fitted first. But this is something
you need to ask for. You also need to ask if you may be present
throughout the entire procedure of course, because vets have a more
realistic attitude to putting animals to sleep than we cat-lovers
usually do.

End of story.

Best Wishes,
Eddy.

> Hello. Three months ago I asked in this group when people thought it
> was time to "call it a day" with regard to a very ill pet and putting
> him/her to sleep. Some people were extremely helpful, most particularly
> CindyS, and in the end the advice proved to be very helpful. When the
> time came, we knew.
>
> Out extraordinary little cat is no more. We have both cried and cried.
> Two days before he was put to sleep he was so alive and active that he
> had brought in a baby rabbit. And even the day before he died there was
> a wild commotion and cries in the hedge with a pheasant then fleeing
> into the field opposite: the cat with the tragic heart condition then
> being discovered looking gleeful and victorious beside the point of
> exit! So, right up until the day when he suddenly went right downhill,
> he had had about four months of great quality life - all due to his
> four-meds-a-day routine. It was very demanding cutting up the tablets
> accurately and administering them to him twice a day and at exactly the
> right time, and of course we had had to indulged in all sorts of
> subterfuges with pate, yoghourt, and tuna to get the meds down his
> throat. But every further day of health made it worthwhile.
>
> On the morning of the day of his passing however he didn't come eagerly
> for his breakfast. He moved from the porch window through to the
> kitchen in three segments, each at my repeated urging. Then as the
> morning went on we saw he was in difficulty. By lunchtime we had
> noticed that he could not even lie down: he would rapidly get up again
> and crouch, bewildered, his mouth open to maximise intake of air. I
> discussed it all on the phone with the vet and the options were either
> to transport him up hill and down dale to be hospitalised for a second
> shaving and operation to drain his lung cavities, or let him go quickly,
> in peace. The first option would have been too traumatic for him in the
> state he was in and clearly the treatment he has been on, the only
> treatment there is, cannot provide permanent relief. The vet came
> quickly once I had rung a third time. He seemed very professional. We
> didn't know him. Unfortunately the vet who had been caring for the cat
> was off duty on the day in question. By the time the vet arrived the
> cat had become so desperate he had leapt up onto my desk to look at me
> and plead for assistance, just as he had leapt up onto the mantelpiece
> at Christmas to gaze down upon me and beg for help. He just knew that
> somehow I help. He didn't know how, but there was such trust there. We
> brought the vet up to my study and he sat at my desk, took the cat in
> his arms, petted him a little, and then proceeded to give him the
> injections.
>
> Now I wish to broach the reason for sharing this experience with you. I
> need information from people who are familiar with putting cats to
> sleep.
>
> The beloved cat has been treated with respect and dignity since it was a
> kitten. He was only four and a half years old. He behaved towards us
> like a loving child. He would never attack us, scratch us, hiss at us,
> or anything like that. In hindsight I wish I told the vet this before
> bringing him into the room, but as it was we were in such an emotional
> state and we just assumed that the vet would treat our "child" with the
> same care and love that we have.
>
> The vet sat in my chair, placed two syringes and a stethoscope on the
> desktop, took the cat in his arms and pressed him down so that the cat's
> head was in the crook of his left arm. The cat looked comfortable and,
> of course, in spite of his great difficulty with breathing he was
> looking at me with some alarm. (Who on earth was this stranger?)
>
> Holding the cat on his lap with his left arm, with his right hand the
> vet picked up one of the syringes and pushed it into the scruff of the
> cat's neck. This was done quickly and with a degree of force. The cat,
> on death's door all morning, immediately became extremely alarmed, his
> eyes dilated with fear, and he pushed himself upwards and sought to
> escape. The vet put down the syringe and then used his right hand to
> grab the cat by the scruff of the neck and hold him up for about five
> seconds, getting control of him. We were freaked out by this. It was
> totally unexpected but we assumed, in the moment, the vet knew what he
> was doing. But it did seem unnecessary, to us at least. He then
> lowered the cat down, back into the previous position, saying it would
> take five minutes for the anaesthetic to take effect. As he lowered the
> cat back down into the crook of his left arm, the cat began harkling and
> fighting at its throat with its two front paws. The cat was so clearly
> distressed. I felt like I had utterly betrayed him. Throughout this
> whole sequence of events the vet was so cool and professional, talking
> quietly, and in control. Within 15 seconds or so the cat stopped
> physically resisting. In hindsight I think that maybe although it
> looked like the cat was being cradled in the vet's left arm he was
> actually being quite forcefully held.
>
> After five minutes the cat was truly immobile. His eyes were wide and
> open and he seemed to be looking at me, kneeling on the floor looking
> into his face and stroking his head, but the vet said he was "under".
> The vet then took the second syringe and pushed it into the same area,
> the scruff of the neck, as before. It was then just a matter of waiting
> for the heart to stop beating. During this period, the vet stroked the
> animal but I couldn't help noticing he was looking around my study,
> noting things, like the pictures on the walls and so on. At one point
> he remarked on one of my books and said he had read it as a youngster.
> With tears streaming out of my eyes I wasn't about to start yabbering on
> about some book so I didn't develop that conversation.
>
> After another five minutes the vet said he believed the heart had
> stopped beating. He then took his stethoscope, listened, and confirmed
> that the creature had passed on. We then laid him gently on a plastic
> bag in case any fluids etc should escape from him. We briefly discussed
> how deep down we need to dig before burying him and arrangements as to
> paying the bill, and then the vet left.
>
> This happened about two weeks ago. Since then we have been wondering
> occasionally about the manner in which the cat was relieved of his
> suffering. As I said above, we didn't know the vet at all, but we have
> come to understand that ordinarily, in this farming area, he deals with
> large animals, livestock, horses, and so on, possibly including dogs.
> We understand the vet who had been caring for our cat all along deals
> with "small animals". In hindsight we wonder if the vet put our cat to
> sleep as if he were a sheep or a calf, rather than a cat that was a
> gentle as a child - as opposed to a feral cat.
>
> We wonder if the "small animal" vet might have used an entirely
> different approach. Might she have been more gentle? Might she have
> shaved him a little first in order to find a vein and then ensure that
> the anaesthetic circulated intravenously, so that the cat might simply
> have drifted off like human beings do when they are put under general
> anaesthetic in a hospital situation?
>
> On the other hand, our cat had serious cardiomyopathy which was causing
> a serious breathing problem, since fluid had clearly once again built up
> around his lungs and impeded his breathing capacity. Maybe such a heart
> and such a pair of lung react to anaesthetic with alarm and violence?
> Maybe the vet's manner of administering the anaesthetic was perfectly
> normal in the circumstances?
>
> We would be so grateful for people's thoughts. We have thought about
> seeking to have a private word with the "small animals" vet who had
> cared for our cat for so long, but the problem is that she is not likely
> to indict the other vet, who is her employer. Furthermore, we realise
> we could cause strain between the two of them.
>
> Obviously it would be easy to damn the vet's behaviour and say he was
> out of line and claim that the cat should have felt no more pain or
> alarm that what he was already feeling prior to the vet's arrival.
> However, we realise that quite possibly in the circumstances the vet
> handled the procedure as well as anyone could.
>
> Thank you.
>
> Eddy.
>
>
> cindys wrote:
> > In my opinion, you make your decision on the basis of the cat's
> > quality of life. If medications are keeping him alive but he's
> > spending his whole day lying in the corner, it's time to call it a
> > day. OTOH, if the medications are keeping him alive, but he's spending
> > his day frolicking, it's too soon to call it a day. Even if you know
> > you may have a downturn in a week or a month. You can always call it a
> > day when you see the downturn.
> >
> > I have a cat with very severe heart disease (although he has not
> > experienced the repeated episodes of fluid-buildup-induced respiratory
> > distress followed by periods of dehydration that you have described in
> > your cat). My cat ended up in the animal emergency room on December
> > 30, 2007. His prognosis was grim. He was in respiratory distress,
> > every chamber of his heart was enlarged, he had leaky valves, blood
> > clots just asking to form. They drained his chest, prescribed some
> > medication and gave him "a few months at most." Our regular vet
> > estimated his remaining lifespan to be "maybe another month."
> >
> > It's now been nearly a year and a half, and we still have the cat, and
> > he is still enjoying a really good quality of life, eating well
> > (thanks to Pepcid), going up and down the stairs, jumping onto (low)
> > tables, sleeping in my son's bed, etc. When the time comes, we won't
> > hesitate to call it a day, but that day will come only once. In the
> > meantime, the cat is happy, and we're appreciating every day we have
> > him. Every living creature is going to get sick and die someday. You
> > don't want to hasten that day but neither do you want to prolong the
> > suffering when it comes. I would say it is time to call it a day if
> > and when: Your cat is spending much of his day lying in a corner. He
> > doesn't want to eat (and you're already tried giving him Pepcid - ask
> > your vet for the proper dose for a cat, and don't use the extra
> > strength). He stops grooming. He stops using the litter box. He hides.
> > He's wobbly on his feet. These are all signs that he's had enough. But
> > if he's happy and frolicking, it's too soon. Take your cue from him.
> >
> > (BTW, I saw that you wrote in another thread that you're giving your
> > cat aspirin - I would assume to prevent clots. You might want to think
> > about using Plavix (clopidogrel) instead. Our cat is taking four or
> > five different meds for his heart, but I believe it's the Lasix
> > (furosemide) and the clopidogrel that are responsible for keeping him
> > alive. The potential for blood clots is huge for cats with heart
> > disease. The medication is expensive in the USA because we only have
> > the brand-name available to us, but you can get it generic from a
> > Canadian pharmacy. I used Canada Pharmacy online. It cost me around
> > $80 for 100 pills. The cat takes only 1/4 pill per day, so 100 pills
> > are enough to last for a year and a half. In the USA, it costs $135
> > for 30 pills at CVS or Rite Aid.)
> > Good luck to you and your kitty.
> > Best regards,
> > ---Cindy S.
> >
>

---MIKE---
July 24th 09, 06:40 PM
I don't understand this. Why can't the vet just give the cat an
injectable anesthetic to make it unconscious before giving it the
"final" injection?


---MIKE---
>>In the White Mountains of New Hampshire
>> (44 15' N - Elevation 1580')

Granby
July 24th 09, 09:19 PM
Eddy, did you see my post about the vet doing the two step procedure? The
day after my dog was PTS Lewi, a deaf cat had to be PTS. Same method used
and with a minimum or reaction on the part of the cat. Got the first shot
in his hip and then when totally relaxed, got the second shot.
"Eddy" > wrote in message
...
> Hi Everyone,
>
> I promised some of you who have been very helpful with our dilemma an
> update following our talk with our vet regarding the awful way in which
> our cat was put to sleep.
>
> We saw the vet yesterday afternoon and spoke for about half an hour in
> private. Firstly we assured her that we absolutely were not seeking
> compensation or damages regarding the behaviour of the other vet, who
> put our cat to sleep, but that we simply wanted to know facts so that we
> could decide whether to approach him and tell him of our
> dissatisfaction.
>
> She confirmed that if a strong relationship is perceived between a
> cat-owner and a cat then a "small animal vet" will usually remove a
> little fur from a front paw (only a pair of scissors is needed) and try
> to find a vein. She said that finding a vein in a cat's paw is however
> not easy and neither is inserting into it accurately, because of its
> small size. She said that sometimes a vein, correctly inserted into,
> will burst, and then one has to move to another paw. She pointed out
> that going around the paws like this with a sharp needle can be very
> disconcerting for a dying animal - which may be very sensitive and wish
> to defend itself or escape.
>
> She said that even if a vein is found easily in a paw and the first
> injection applied without trauma, the cat can still react strongly when
> it senses the effect of the sedative or anaesthetic. It can seek to
> escape or lash out. She confirmed that a vet who does not know that a
> cat's nails have been trimmed or who does not know that the animal is
> extremely docile would be wise to quickly hold a cat by the scruff of
> the neck until it settles down if it shows any sign of alarm.
>
> It was a great pity that on the day in question when our cat desperately
> needed to be put to sleep, she happened not to be on duty and the only
> vet available was a "large animal vet", the one who is responsible for
> horses, cattle, and sheep in these parts. He had never met our cat, or
> us, before, and it is therefore likely that he performed the procedure
> that is normal in barns and on farms, and indeed even in the back room
> at the vet's when cat-owners prefer not to witness the procedure.
>
> We asked if it is not possible to make absolutely sure that any cat is
> put to sleep without it experiencing any alarm at all. We asked this
> with a view to what will happen to our other cat one day - unless he
> gets run over or something. She said the best method would be to take
> the sick animal to the vet's surgery and request that a catheter be
> used. The catheter would be attached by the vet with the assistance of
> a nurse. She pointed out that a very sick cat may still not take kindly
> to having a catheter inserted, but then it could calm down a little
> before the procedure continued. Once it had calmed down then the
> sedative/anaesthetic could be applied intravenously without trauma -
> unless once the animal detected the change in its system it suddenly
> sought to fight for its life or escape, which is sometimes the case. Of
> course, this method wasn't open to us because we knew that transporting
> our cat over the hills in the condition he was in would be awfully
> traumatic for him for the duration of the journey in the back of car.
>
> Basically our experience was simply bad luck. She also pointed out
> that although our cat was alarmed for the five minutes before the first
> injection took effect, we need to remember that it did not realise that
> it was being killed. We knew it was being killed, but it did not. So
> "the horror" was more on our part than the cat's part.
>
> I hope the above report is of help to other people. We need to remember
> that the safest way to ensure a cat passes away with as little trauma
> as possible is for a catheter to be fitted first. But this is something
> you need to ask for. You also need to ask if you may be present
> throughout the entire procedure of course, because vets have a more
> realistic attitude to putting animals to sleep than we cat-lovers
> usually do.
>
> End of story.
>
> Best Wishes,
> Eddy.
>
>> Hello. Three months ago I asked in this group when people thought it
>> was time to "call it a day" with regard to a very ill pet and putting
>> him/her to sleep. Some people were extremely helpful, most particularly
>> CindyS, and in the end the advice proved to be very helpful. When the
>> time came, we knew.
>>
>> Out extraordinary little cat is no more. We have both cried and cried.
>> Two days before he was put to sleep he was so alive and active that he
>> had brought in a baby rabbit. And even the day before he died there was
>> a wild commotion and cries in the hedge with a pheasant then fleeing
>> into the field opposite: the cat with the tragic heart condition then
>> being discovered looking gleeful and victorious beside the point of
>> exit! So, right up until the day when he suddenly went right downhill,
>> he had had about four months of great quality life - all due to his
>> four-meds-a-day routine. It was very demanding cutting up the tablets
>> accurately and administering them to him twice a day and at exactly the
>> right time, and of course we had had to indulged in all sorts of
>> subterfuges with pate, yoghourt, and tuna to get the meds down his
>> throat. But every further day of health made it worthwhile.
>>
>> On the morning of the day of his passing however he didn't come eagerly
>> for his breakfast. He moved from the porch window through to the
>> kitchen in three segments, each at my repeated urging. Then as the
>> morning went on we saw he was in difficulty. By lunchtime we had
>> noticed that he could not even lie down: he would rapidly get up again
>> and crouch, bewildered, his mouth open to maximise intake of air. I
>> discussed it all on the phone with the vet and the options were either
>> to transport him up hill and down dale to be hospitalised for a second
>> shaving and operation to drain his lung cavities, or let him go quickly,
>> in peace. The first option would have been too traumatic for him in the
>> state he was in and clearly the treatment he has been on, the only
>> treatment there is, cannot provide permanent relief. The vet came
>> quickly once I had rung a third time. He seemed very professional. We
>> didn't know him. Unfortunately the vet who had been caring for the cat
>> was off duty on the day in question. By the time the vet arrived the
>> cat had become so desperate he had leapt up onto my desk to look at me
>> and plead for assistance, just as he had leapt up onto the mantelpiece
>> at Christmas to gaze down upon me and beg for help. He just knew that
>> somehow I help. He didn't know how, but there was such trust there. We
>> brought the vet up to my study and he sat at my desk, took the cat in
>> his arms, petted him a little, and then proceeded to give him the
>> injections.
>>
>> Now I wish to broach the reason for sharing this experience with you. I
>> need information from people who are familiar with putting cats to
>> sleep.
>>
>> The beloved cat has been treated with respect and dignity since it was a
>> kitten. He was only four and a half years old. He behaved towards us
>> like a loving child. He would never attack us, scratch us, hiss at us,
>> or anything like that. In hindsight I wish I told the vet this before
>> bringing him into the room, but as it was we were in such an emotional
>> state and we just assumed that the vet would treat our "child" with the
>> same care and love that we have.
>>
>> The vet sat in my chair, placed two syringes and a stethoscope on the
>> desktop, took the cat in his arms and pressed him down so that the cat's
>> head was in the crook of his left arm. The cat looked comfortable and,
>> of course, in spite of his great difficulty with breathing he was
>> looking at me with some alarm. (Who on earth was this stranger?)
>>
>> Holding the cat on his lap with his left arm, with his right hand the
>> vet picked up one of the syringes and pushed it into the scruff of the
>> cat's neck. This was done quickly and with a degree of force. The cat,
>> on death's door all morning, immediately became extremely alarmed, his
>> eyes dilated with fear, and he pushed himself upwards and sought to
>> escape. The vet put down the syringe and then used his right hand to
>> grab the cat by the scruff of the neck and hold him up for about five
>> seconds, getting control of him. We were freaked out by this. It was
>> totally unexpected but we assumed, in the moment, the vet knew what he
>> was doing. But it did seem unnecessary, to us at least. He then
>> lowered the cat down, back into the previous position, saying it would
>> take five minutes for the anaesthetic to take effect. As he lowered the
>> cat back down into the crook of his left arm, the cat began harkling and
>> fighting at its throat with its two front paws. The cat was so clearly
>> distressed. I felt like I had utterly betrayed him. Throughout this
>> whole sequence of events the vet was so cool and professional, talking
>> quietly, and in control. Within 15 seconds or so the cat stopped
>> physically resisting. In hindsight I think that maybe although it
>> looked like the cat was being cradled in the vet's left arm he was
>> actually being quite forcefully held.
>>
>> After five minutes the cat was truly immobile. His eyes were wide and
>> open and he seemed to be looking at me, kneeling on the floor looking
>> into his face and stroking his head, but the vet said he was "under".
>> The vet then took the second syringe and pushed it into the same area,
>> the scruff of the neck, as before. It was then just a matter of waiting
>> for the heart to stop beating. During this period, the vet stroked the
>> animal but I couldn't help noticing he was looking around my study,
>> noting things, like the pictures on the walls and so on. At one point
>> he remarked on one of my books and said he had read it as a youngster.
>> With tears streaming out of my eyes I wasn't about to start yabbering on
>> about some book so I didn't develop that conversation.
>>
>> After another five minutes the vet said he believed the heart had
>> stopped beating. He then took his stethoscope, listened, and confirmed
>> that the creature had passed on. We then laid him gently on a plastic
>> bag in case any fluids etc should escape from him. We briefly discussed
>> how deep down we need to dig before burying him and arrangements as to
>> paying the bill, and then the vet left.
>>
>> This happened about two weeks ago. Since then we have been wondering
>> occasionally about the manner in which the cat was relieved of his
>> suffering. As I said above, we didn't know the vet at all, but we have
>> come to understand that ordinarily, in this farming area, he deals with
>> large animals, livestock, horses, and so on, possibly including dogs.
>> We understand the vet who had been caring for our cat all along deals
>> with "small animals". In hindsight we wonder if the vet put our cat to
>> sleep as if he were a sheep or a calf, rather than a cat that was a
>> gentle as a child - as opposed to a feral cat.
>>
>> We wonder if the "small animal" vet might have used an entirely
>> different approach. Might she have been more gentle? Might she have
>> shaved him a little first in order to find a vein and then ensure that
>> the anaesthetic circulated intravenously, so that the cat might simply
>> have drifted off like human beings do when they are put under general
>> anaesthetic in a hospital situation?
>>
>> On the other hand, our cat had serious cardiomyopathy which was causing
>> a serious breathing problem, since fluid had clearly once again built up
>> around his lungs and impeded his breathing capacity. Maybe such a heart
>> and such a pair of lung react to anaesthetic with alarm and violence?
>> Maybe the vet's manner of administering the anaesthetic was perfectly
>> normal in the circumstances?
>>
>> We would be so grateful for people's thoughts. We have thought about
>> seeking to have a private word with the "small animals" vet who had
>> cared for our cat for so long, but the problem is that she is not likely
>> to indict the other vet, who is her employer. Furthermore, we realise
>> we could cause strain between the two of them.
>>
>> Obviously it would be easy to damn the vet's behaviour and say he was
>> out of line and claim that the cat should have felt no more pain or
>> alarm that what he was already feeling prior to the vet's arrival.
>> However, we realise that quite possibly in the circumstances the vet
>> handled the procedure as well as anyone could.
>>
>> Thank you.
>>
>> Eddy.
>>
>>
>> cindys wrote:
>> > In my opinion, you make your decision on the basis of the cat's
>> > quality of life. If medications are keeping him alive but he's
>> > spending his whole day lying in the corner, it's time to call it a
>> > day. OTOH, if the medications are keeping him alive, but he's spending
>> > his day frolicking, it's too soon to call it a day. Even if you know
>> > you may have a downturn in a week or a month. You can always call it a
>> > day when you see the downturn.
>> >
>> > I have a cat with very severe heart disease (although he has not
>> > experienced the repeated episodes of fluid-buildup-induced respiratory
>> > distress followed by periods of dehydration that you have described in
>> > your cat). My cat ended up in the animal emergency room on December
>> > 30, 2007. His prognosis was grim. He was in respiratory distress,
>> > every chamber of his heart was enlarged, he had leaky valves, blood
>> > clots just asking to form. They drained his chest, prescribed some
>> > medication and gave him "a few months at most." Our regular vet
>> > estimated his remaining lifespan to be "maybe another month."
>> >
>> > It's now been nearly a year and a half, and we still have the cat, and
>> > he is still enjoying a really good quality of life, eating well
>> > (thanks to Pepcid), going up and down the stairs, jumping onto (low)
>> > tables, sleeping in my son's bed, etc. When the time comes, we won't
>> > hesitate to call it a day, but that day will come only once. In the
>> > meantime, the cat is happy, and we're appreciating every day we have
>> > him. Every living creature is going to get sick and die someday. You
>> > don't want to hasten that day but neither do you want to prolong the
>> > suffering when it comes. I would say it is time to call it a day if
>> > and when: Your cat is spending much of his day lying in a corner. He
>> > doesn't want to eat (and you're already tried giving him Pepcid - ask
>> > your vet for the proper dose for a cat, and don't use the extra
>> > strength). He stops grooming. He stops using the litter box. He hides.
>> > He's wobbly on his feet. These are all signs that he's had enough. But
>> > if he's happy and frolicking, it's too soon. Take your cue from him.
>> >
>> > (BTW, I saw that you wrote in another thread that you're giving your
>> > cat aspirin - I would assume to prevent clots. You might want to think
>> > about using Plavix (clopidogrel) instead. Our cat is taking four or
>> > five different meds for his heart, but I believe it's the Lasix
>> > (furosemide) and the clopidogrel that are responsible for keeping him
>> > alive. The potential for blood clots is huge for cats with heart
>> > disease. The medication is expensive in the USA because we only have
>> > the brand-name available to us, but you can get it generic from a
>> > Canadian pharmacy. I used Canada Pharmacy online. It cost me around
>> > $80 for 100 pills. The cat takes only 1/4 pill per day, so 100 pills
>> > are enough to last for a year and a half. In the USA, it costs $135
>> > for 30 pills at CVS or Rite Aid.)
>> > Good luck to you and your kitty.
>> > Best regards,
>> > ---Cindy S.
>> >
>>
>

FirstHit
July 26th 09, 10:14 AM
On Jul 24, 3:25*am, Eddy >
wrote:

> I hope the above report is of help to other people. *We need to remember
> that the safest way to ensure a *cat passes away with as little trauma
> as possible is for a catheter to be fitted first. *But this is something
> you need to ask for. *You also need to ask if you may be present
> throughout the entire procedure of course, because vets have a more
> realistic attitude to putting animals to sleep than we cat-lovers
> usually do.

Thanks for the report.

My vet initially wanted to do the initial injection and then catheter
placement in a back room. Then I would be reunited with the cat and
could hold her in my arms as she received the 2nd injection.

I told her I wanted to be with the cat at all times, so she changed
the procedure to include no catheter at all. In the modified
procedure, I did not get to hold the cat in my arms during the
injections (but I did between the 2 injections). During the
injections, the cat was on a comfy blanket on a table. I did get to
comfort her the whole time with both my hands on her. During the
time, I spoke softly to her, and the vet did some soft speaking too.

As I think I stated earlier, I was pretty happy with the procedure. I
did wonder though why I couldn't be present for a catheter insertion
and then hold the cat.

When it comes to putting an animal to sleep, it seems that all these
different vets have their little ways they want to do things.

FirstHit

Michelle C.
July 26th 09, 08:07 PM
FirstHit wrote:
> On Jul 24, 3:25 am, Eddy >
> wrote:
>
>> I hope the above report is of help to other people. We need to remember
>> that the safest way to ensure a cat passes away with as little trauma
>> as possible is for a catheter to be fitted first. But this is something
>> you need to ask for. You also need to ask if you may be present
>> throughout the entire procedure of course, because vets have a more
>> realistic attitude to putting animals to sleep than we cat-lovers
>> usually do.
>
> Thanks for the report.
>
> My vet initially wanted to do the initial injection and then catheter
> placement in a back room. Then I would be reunited with the cat and
> could hold her in my arms as she received the 2nd injection.
>
> I told her I wanted to be with the cat at all times, so she changed
> the procedure to include no catheter at all. In the modified
> procedure, I did not get to hold the cat in my arms during the
> injections (but I did between the 2 injections). During the
> injections, the cat was on a comfy blanket on a table. I did get to
> comfort her the whole time with both my hands on her. During the
> time, I spoke softly to her, and the vet did some soft speaking too.
>
> As I think I stated earlier, I was pretty happy with the procedure. I
> did wonder though why I couldn't be present for a catheter insertion
> and then hold the cat.

I can't answer for certain, but I would expect that the answer may be
similar to why doctors ask families to step out of the emergency
room--the doctor needs to concentrate and the reaction of the family to
what could possibly a traumatic procedure is a distraction that can make
things worse for everyone.

Just a guess--from having worked in the ER.

Best regards,
Michelle


>
> When it comes to putting an animal to sleep, it seems that all these
> different vets have their little ways they want to do things.
>
> FirstHit