Comfort measures (for my cat)

  1. I was reading another thread, concerning comfort measures for dying patients, and it made me think about my cat. She is only 10 years old, has always had a good appetite. A couple of weeks ago, I took her in to the vet, as she was not eating much, and losing weight. she had lost a couple of pounds, from a high of 12lb. Then the vet found something unusual in her belly, and kept her there for an Xray and later an ultrasound.
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  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   Jessy_RN
    Quote from Mimi2RN
    I was reading another thread, concerning comfort measures for dying patients, and it made me think about my cat. She is only 10 years old, has always had a good appetite. A couple of weeks ago, I took her in to the vet, as she was not eating much, and losing weight. she had lost a couple of pounds, from a high of 12lb. Then the vet found something unusual in her belly, and kept her there for an Xray and later an ultrasound.
    What were the results of the ultrasound? I am so sorry about your cat. I pray he/she is healthy and that nothing major is going on. Keep us posted.
  4. by   Mimi2RN
    Continued, I hit the wrong key!

    The vet suggested a couple of things, an exploratory lap, and euthanasia if it was bad, or a needle biopsy, just for a diagnosis. I decided to bring her home for the weekend, and I haven't taken her back.

    It's probably adenocarcinoma of the intestines. She's taking pain meds, whether or not she needs them. She's living on the kitchen table (her choice). Sometimes she goes outside and sharpens her claws, and watches the neighborhood from inside a closed patio. She eats very little, a few bites a day..steak, chicken, whatever she likes. Forget the CD diet she's had for years.

    When it's time, I have a syringe of medication to give, before we go to the vets for the last time. I'm hoping she'll go at home, I don't want her stressed out.

    Are we kinder to our pets than to our patients? We drag the dying to the hospital, put IV's in, NG tubes if they won't eat. My grandad died in our front room, I think the angels came for him, there was such peace when he had passed away.

    Anyway, I'll miss her.
  5. by   fluffwad
    I did this 2 years ago with a 16 year old cat. She seemed to be comfortable, but kept losing weight, kept to herself most of the time. When she started having trouble walking, I took her in for the last time.

    I'd had a benign tumor removed from her neck a couple of years before that ( she couldn't swallow). That was the first time I'd ever seen a cat cry tears ( when the pain medicine wore off) ......kept her medicated regularly after that until it seemed she didnt need it.

    I agree about being kinder to our pets..........but every time I explain the DNR to patients families it seems they just don't get it until they see what those patients go thru just because they ' just couldn't give up on Mom '.
  6. by   Katnip
    We just went through this with our 13 year old dog. She had bladder cancer. we chose not to try surgery because the outcome would have been iffy and I didn't want her to go through that.

    We kept her comfortable and happy until she stopped eating treats and her eyes had that vague look most of the time. We ended up going to the vet and she died with her head in my lap.

    You're right, we're often kinder to our pets than our humans in many ways.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I went thru cancer and loss w/my 14 year old beagle. When he quit eating, drinking and going outdoors to go potty I knew the "only" comfort measure for him was euthanasia. It felt awful to consider, like murder, but in the end, it brought us all peace to know his suffering was over. If only humans could go as peacefully. You will know when it's time, and so will your vet. When that times comes, it will take courage, but you can and must do the right thing by your pet.
  8. by   dianah
    Did it this weekend w/my 21yo cat. It does take courage but I KNOW, POSITIVELY, ABSOLUTELY, it was the right thing to do. She was ready, and even though she wasn't at home, I hope she felt me holding and stroking her. She had that unfocused look, and Sunday didn't even twitch her tail when we called her name. As Deb posted, you'll know.

    I hope pain management has come as far for animals as we've come for humans (even though I know there's a LOT farther to go). They often suffer in silence, gotta watch the body language.

    Bless you for caring; we love our fur-babies.
  9. by   truern
    Mimi, I'm so sorry. She's been blessed to have you and your love.

    Love, from another pet lover
  10. by   DusktilDawn
    Mimi I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. Our pets are family members. My best friend had to put her beloved dog down a few years ago, but she knew it was the right thing to do.
    If only humans could go as peacefully. You will know when it's time, and so will your vet. When that times comes, it will take courage, but you can and must do the right thing by your pet.
    Very well put SmilingBluEyes.

    Dianah I'm sorry for your loss. My friend also stayed with her dog when he was put to sleep. She also could not bear to see her furbaby suffer. I know that when the time comes I won't let my cat suffer.
  11. by   jnette


    I was attempting to avoid this thread..................


    (((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))) to all who have lost their precious furry/fuzzy or feathered friends.
  12. by   nursemary9
    Mimi,

    I feel so bad for you, but your Cat has a Wonderful Mom!!
    I do believe we are so much kinder to our pets, as you said.
    Most of my Pets have died on my lap & I wouldn't have it any other way.
    My Dad also, he died in his living room, in a Hospital Bed, with my Mom and Myself at his side.He went quite peacefully, the way he wanted to. I only hope that when it is time, my mom will go as peacefully!!

    My thoughts and prayers are with you Mimi.

    Mary Ann
  13. by   Mimi2RN
    Dianah, I am so sorry for your loss. 21 is a good age for a cat, so he was loved to live that long.

    My Squeak is still with us, she eats a few bites a day,drinks some water and uses the potty box. It's amazing to me, she looked worse to me a few days ago than she does now.

    The pain med keeps her comfortable, and I can increase the dose. I'm going to be gone for a couple of days, leaving my dh to medicate her. He much prefers me do do that, but he knows how to do it. She's more likely to spit it out for him, though.

    And so it goes.
  14. by   dianah
    :icon_hug: ((((((((((Mimi)))))))))):icon_hug: Your dear one (the cat, ------- well, I guess the dh too ) is very lucky to have you as her human.

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