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      Monday, February 01, 2010


catstuff
11:48 AM - 02/01/2010

The topic: The worst, hardest, suckiest part of pet ownership

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is what I call “death watch”.

When you’ve got a pet with a terminal disease and it’s taking its toll.  Sometimes it can take years before the signs get bad, sometimes just weeks.

Bart was diagnosed with renal failure in December.  He’s just gone downhill since then.  The powder the vet sold me is doing a great job, but Saturday, Bart was really bad.  Very winded.  He was worse yesterday.  And I watched him walk in the yard, looking for a place to poop, when he found one, I investigated.  Four dry, hard nuggets.  He’s constipated. Normal with CRF cats.  But it was hitting him hard.

Now, I’m fluent at sub-q fluids.  And I really thought he’d do well to get some, but his heart murmur had me reluctant. I remember giving Lisa fluids and how badly she reacted. But then, she was in heart failure, it wasn’t a murmur.  She had a fluid build up which isn’t the problem with a murmur.  I posted about it online, I did some research and the general consensus was that it was safe. And I had told my vet back in December how much Bart perked up after fluids and there was no admonishment of “you don’t give a cat with a heart murmur fluids”. 

Additionally, I was given advice about a very safe human stool softener.  Very low dose. I took this advice and bought some yesterday afternoon.  Bart got both the stool softener and fluids last night.

He was very uncomfortable all night long.  He woke me up this morning throwing up. He was in my bathroom and had had quite a bit to drink and it came back up.  He looked horrible (who doesn’t after puking, though, right?).  I cleaned up the floor and he drank some more.  This time it stayed down.  

He had a little kibble this morning and he also had a little A/D.  I cooked him a chicken breast, which I’ll let him have a small amount of later.  I got out the humidifier and set it up in the bedroom, where he’s been sleeping better today than he has the past few days.  Unfortunately, it leaked, somewhere along the line it had fallen and the vibration of it running sets off a small stream.  I went to Walmart and got a new one, this one puts out a cool mist, so the room won’t be like a sauna, but there will still be moisture in the air.

But Brian and I both agree, barring a miracle, he’ll be at the bridge by the end of the month.  His quality of life is almost non-existant right now. 

And I hate this.  The death watch.


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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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