Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Should he be put down?

Nocturne
October 8th, 2010, 11:49 PM
I have a male siamese cat who is around 15-17 years old. He (Simon) was my first pet, I've had him since I was around 3 and my earliest memory is driving him home when he was a kitten. Basically right now we're faced with a situation (which I will explain) where my father is going to put him down. I do not think that it is necessary for that, but here's the story:

He was always a little on the overweight side but about a year ago he started losing weight and has been since (not just fat but muscle mass too). The muscle mass loss is mainly along his spine and in his hindquarters. Since he started losing the weight we've been trying vet-recommended foods and nothing has helped. We believe he has some arthritis because some days he is a little slow (mainly going down stairs). It's not very often. The rest of the days he seems absolutely fine, and every day he is ok enough to jump up from the floor onto the bathroom counter. However he throws up a lot, little puddles maybe 1 - 4 times a day. There's never actually food in it though, it's always just clear liquid. I think it's because he has diabetes and gets really thirsty, to the point where he drinks too much and gets bloated and just throws it all up. He has also started to go to the bathroom all over the house...never pee (that I've seen so far) just feces. I am aware that he's obviously getting old and some problems are to be expected, but my father is of the impression that his quality of life isn't good enough to keep him around and he thinks we should put him down. In my opinion I think it's because he just doesn't want to have to keep cleaning up after him, which is ridiculous.

If Simon was suffering terribly and was no longer happy than I could see perhaps turning to euthanasia for his benefit. But I don't think he's suffering enough to warrant that...the only problems are the throwing up, sometimes trouble going down stairs (but he's never stumbled or fallen or anything, just doesn't dash around like he used to) and not using the litterbox any more. He still goes outside and plays with my other cat, he still sleeps with me every night and snuggles whenever I'm home and constantly purrs. I am just at a complete loss because I don't know what to do to convince him not to do it and I feel so hopeless because if it comes down to it there's really nothing that I can do to stop him. I'm just wondering if anyone has either experienced a similar situation or has any ideas/recommendations. I can't even put my foot down too much or he'll end up taking him when I'm not home and I won't even get to say good bye... Is there something I'm not seeing? Is euthanasia the answer? I can't justify it but maybe I'm missing something...

Any insight is greatly appreciated, and apologies for the length of this post...

Love4himies
October 9th, 2010, 05:23 AM
I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. Hopefully your father will give you the opportunity to say your goodbyes when the time does come :grouphug:.

Have you had bloodwork done on him lately? You state he has diabetes, is that monitored on a regular basis? Has he had his thyroid checked?

Is he on a canned only diet? Kibble may be making him dehydrated and felling poorly.

Does he go to the bathroom in the same place or in different places? You could put some small litter boxes around the house for him. to use.

Normally a good rule of thumb is if your pet has more bad days than good, then it is time. If your pet is in pain that can't be controlled and is terminal, then it is time. :grouphug:

mikischo
October 9th, 2010, 05:25 AM
From the way you describe Simon, he does seem to be still having a good quality of life and getting quite a bit of enjoyment out of each day. It is unfortunate that you are in a situation where you may not have any control over any ultimate decisions that might be made. Certainly at his age he is slowing down and starting to have some health issues, as happens to us all as we get older whether we be humans or animals. Cats can enjoy quite a long senior life.

Lets see if there are some things that can be done to make Simon's life even better.

He was always a little on the overweight side but about a year ago he started losing weight and has been since (not just fat but muscle mass too). The muscle mass loss is mainly along his spine and in his hindquarters. Since he started losing the weight we've been trying vet-recommended foods and nothing has helped.

Cats who were overweight are more prone to experience some weight loss as they age. Some loss of muscle mass can also be expected. However, if these things are more pronounced, it can also be a sign of other issues such as diabetes or kidney disease. Many of these issues can be managed and cats still have the potential to live quite a long time and have a good quality life even with these diseases.

Since he started losing the weight we've been trying vet-recommended foods and nothing has helped.

What kind of foods have you tried and what is Simon eating now? A high quality protein canned food or even a raw diet can be very beneficial. If you tell us what you have already tried, perhaps we can offer you some other suggestions.:)

What kind of tests has the vet run? Did Simon have a senior's blood panel or urinalysis? These types of tests would uncover issues such as diabetes or kidney insufficiencies. It doesn't sound like these kind of tests were done or you would know for sure whether or not he has diabetes. Once problems are found they can be addressed.

We believe he has some arthritis because some days he is a little slow (mainly going down stairs). It's not very often. The rest of the days he seems absolutely fine, and every day he is ok enough to jump up from the floor onto the bathroom counter.

Although cats, just like people, slow down as they age, it is also possible he may be developing some mild arthritis. Some degree of arthritis is really quite common in cats, especially after they are over the age of 12 or so. There are glucosamine and chondroitin supplements that you can get from your vet which can be very helpful for this. Another thing that can be beneficial is an omega fatty acid supplement. This is available through your vet, but salmon oil capsules that you can get from the vitamin section of your supermarket or pharmacy also work well and are likely cheaper. This can be mixed with his food. Cat usually like the salmon taste.

However he throws up a lot, little puddles maybe 1 - 4 times a day. There's never actually food in it though, it's always just clear liquid. I think it's because he has diabetes and gets really thirsty, to the point where he drinks too much and gets bloated and just throws it all up.

There can be a number of reasons for this. It is unlikely that drinking too much is the cause. Cats who have diabetes or kidney issues drink more because they also urinate more and need to replenish the excess liquid lost from urinating. A senior's blood panel would be very helpful to narrow down the possible causes of the vomiting and hopefully lead to a solution. Constipation could be a factor (a common problem with older cats and can be a very serious issue if not addressed). He may have some digestive issues that make him feel nauseated. Many people have found raising the cat's food and water dishes a couple of inches can often be very helpful in alleviating any nausea (definitely worth a try). Cats can be prone to problems with dehydration especially as they get older and it is very important to their health and well being that they maintain good hydration. It is extremely important that the liquids that are being lost from vomiting and/or excess urination are replenished. Hopefully you already have him on a canned food only diet (no dry food).

He has also started to go to the bathroom all over the house...never pee (that I've seen so far) just feces. I am aware that he's obviously getting old and some problems are to be expected, but my father is of the impression that his quality of life isn't good enough to keep him around and he thinks we should put him down. In my opinion I think it's because he just doesn't want to have to keep cleaning up after him, which is ridiculous.

The good thing about litter box issues is that they usually can be resolved. The problem can be medical or behavioral. The first thing to look for is medical issues. How are his stools? Are they small and hard (constipation) or are they too loose (diarrhea)? If bowel movements are uncomfortable a cat may develop an aversion to using the litter box. Or his anal glands may be impacted causing discomfort. Although mobility problems can be another reason, this doesn't seem to be the case with Simon from what you describe. However, even mobility issues can often be addressed by adding another litter box or getting one that is more roomy and comfortable. These are some of the most common reasons that a cat will start defecating all over the house. Issues of constipation and diarrhea or impacted anal glands can be remedied. If no medical reason can be found then you look at behavioral. Has the type of litter been changed recently? Box not cleaned frequently enough? Has anything changed in the household (new pets added or whatever) that may be causing him stress? Sometimes something as simple as adding another litter box or getting one that is larger and more comfortable can solve the problem. I hope nobody is scolding or disciplining him in any way when he has accidents because that is the very worst thing to do and could greatly reduce the chances of successfully resolving the problem.

If Simon was suffering terribly and was no longer happy than I could see perhaps turning to euthanasia for his benefit. But I don't think he's suffering enough to warrant that...the only problems are the throwing up, sometimes trouble going down stairs (but he's never stumbled or fallen or anything, just doesn't dash around like he used to) and not using the litterbox any more. He still goes outside and plays with my other cat, he still sleeps with me every night and snuggles whenever I'm home and constantly purrs. I am just at a complete loss because I don't know what to do to convince him not to do it and I feel so hopeless because if it comes down to it there's really nothing that I can do to stop him. I'm just wondering if anyone has either experienced a similar situation or has any ideas/recommendations. I can't even put my foot down too much or he'll end up taking him when I'm not home and I won't even get to say good bye... Is there something I'm not seeing? Is euthanasia the answer? I can't justify it but maybe I'm missing something...

Any insight is greatly appreciated, and apologies for the length of this post...

If some solutions can be found, particularly with the litter box issue, this might go far in helping your father change his thinking. So lets see what can be done to make things better.:) Meanwhile, perhaps it would help if you made an extra effort to clean up any accidents promptly so your father won't have to do it.

mickeysmomma
October 9th, 2010, 07:41 AM
I'm so sorry to hear about your dilemma.I just wanted to add my 2 cents.My Mom still has my cat from when I was a little girl....she is now almost 24 years old!!!!! Whitley had some of the issues you are describing.She had trouble eating kibble and lost weight rapidly it took awhile for my Mom to see that she was having issues.The kibble was causing her to vomit because she wasn't chewing...at all.Once switched to canned food she began to put on weight and the vomiting issue stopped.

She also has trouble jumping up and down off the bed (although my Dad believes she just prefers to get a lift lol).They switched her litter box to a small box with lower sides so she would have less trouble getting in and out and now she uses it like a champ.

I hope your Father will hear you out and at least let you try a few of the suggestions you've received here.I feel for you.Good luck:grouphug: