Oh, that is wonderful. Renzo wanted to be let out in the garden just now - it is wee hours here (in both senses of wee - I had to get up for a pee and he took advantage of me getting up to ask for the door. He doesn't really wander beyond the back garden, but I'm glad to see him still sniffing in the grass and bushes, although he doesn't bring me mice any more.
I'd had a nightmare, which is why I'm up looking at the computer, turning in again soon.
Mo (R) and Mia (L) are considered senior citizens now, as they are about to turn 14. They sleep a lot more than they used to, especially when it's hot - and when it's not!
After years of keeping her on a diet in an attempt to reduce her pudginess, Mia suddenly lost a lot of weight (dropping from 12 pounds to 8.2 pounds) and started pacing. She also drank a lot of water, was always hungry, and peed "like a racehorse," whatever that means.
We took her to the vet for bloodwork, fully expecting the diagnosis to be diabetes, but it wasn't. Our kitty-girl was hyperthyroid, which is a life-threatening illness because it sends their blood pressure really high and their hearts work so hard that they don't last long. It has to be treated.
But how? She is impossible to pill, and our kitty sitter refuses to sit for cats that have to be pilled, so anti-thyroid medicine was out. Even the kind that you rub into her ear wouldn't work, because her brother would lick it off when they groom each other. Mr. Kimby did some online research and found a vet clinic that administers radioactive iodine (I-131) which kills off most of the thyroid, returning 95% of cat patients to a normal thyroid situation. A few aren't helped, and a few need a 2nd treatment. (In humans, I-131 treatment makes them hypothyroid and they have to take thyroid pills the rest of their lives, but cats still retain some thyroid function, so no pills after treatment.)
The clinic was a 4 hour drive from our home, and we had to make the drive twice, leaving her there on a Friday and picking her up the following Monday or Tuesday: because of the radiation, they do the treatments on weekends when most of the clinic staff is gone.
The cat herself becomes radioactive for a few weeks, meaning once you take her home, you can't have her sit on your lap for more than a few minutes, and she can't be allowed to sleep on your bed during that time. Plus, you have to collect her waste for 2 weeks, and store it for 80 days, since IT'S radioactive, too, and will set off radiation detectors at the landfill if you put it in the trash. If it can be traced to you, there are big fines.
The major risk of having this treatment is that if the kitty has underlying kidney disease, which is very common in older cats, it may have been masked by the hyperthyroidism, and once the thyroid is functioning normally, the kidney function will decline dramatically.
We just went to the local vet today for her 30 day followup blood tests, results to come tomorrow. But Mia has gained weight. She's up to 9# from 8.2, so that's good. She has also been acting her normal self, so I'm optimistic that her results will be good.
I hope so, because Mr. Kimby will be devastated if his little girl is still sick...
Since losing a cat we had for over 20 years, before we got Mo and Mia, I've come to think that pets, with their short lifespans, give us the very big gift of learning to experience grief so that we aren't totally bowled over when we lose our parents, then our spouses and siblings....
I think Mia will be with us for a while longer, though. She's "only" 14, and Boodles was 20 when we had to take her to the vet in end-stage kidney disease. I go to pick up lab results in a few minutes.
The treatment was not horribly expensive, $875 US I think. Plus gas. And some blood tests.
My sister and her husband have put down many animals, often for reasons I consider just "convenience". Barks too much, runs away, got sick and required expensive treatment, or just got old and not so cute.
Because my niece was quite young and attached to her pets, they always said that the animal "ran away", not that they had had it killed.
It was not amusing to watch the child scream the replacement pet's name in horror if it wandered away even a short distance, because she didn't want to lose another pet to running away....
If I was to post the amount of the Vet and Hospital bills we paid this past December I think the majority of you would think we were absolutely crazy. If we were to bring another home, we would do the same thing.
My husband's cat Grazie has been diagnosed as legally blind. We had noticed some clouding in one eye and after taking him the vet she confirmed our worst fears. The main concern was it was related to a high blood pressure which was ruled out. (his pressure was elevated but, likely to being confined to the carrier for transport). And so, despite assurance from the vet that he will adapt, it pains us to see him trying to navigate himself around. He is 14 years old, and surgery is out of the question at his age because putting him under general anesthesia is too high a risk. His warrior, hunter days with' offerings' of dead oppossums, mice, lizards etc. are over I'm afraid. We can only just make him as comfortable as possible and keep him "close to the fort". It's really sad to see him bumping into things but I hope that will adjust and he will adapt over time. There's not much else we can do.
Blind dogs and cats seem to adjust quite well, even though their world becomes smaller. Their favourite place to sit, sleep or sniff is easily located, as is their food and water source. They will trust you and enjoy going outside near the house.
Thanks good people. Our previous dog, our beloved PoBoy went blind during his later years and he adapted quite well. I have a distinct memory of seeing Grazie, this same cat "herding" Poboy away from running into a tree in the backyard by brushing up against him to veer him away. It was so moving a sight to see. I think it's a little bit different in that dogs do not not have as keen a vision as cats, their sense of smell and sound is more acute, whereas cats have a more keen sense of sight. Still, yes, it will take him some time we know.
My old cat continues to hang in there. Though she seems to feel a bit better since her course of antibiotics and is less sensitive to the touch on her jaw, she is still very swollen in that area. Under her jaw bone there is a bump the size of a large marble. I have to assume she has a tumor there. Her appetite is very good and she seems fairly content for an old cat. Whatever is going on will have to just run its course while I will continue to evaluate her progress.
Sorry about the cat, but I'm sure that it was the best solution. If pets could decide when it's time to go, they would probably choose an even earlier time to end things. But we need their unquestioning love and trust.
Oh I am so sorry to hear that you had to take that step. I have done it only once and cried for hours. Slowly I came to realize I had done the very best thing possible and I think you have been very brave and taken away the suffering. I will be thinking of you.