Nov 19, 2008 at 4:18 #493576
My little cat Lydia became very sick on Saturday. The antibiotics that were prescribed were not working, so yesterday she had blood work done. The results came back by nine am, but I was told I had to wait for the veterinarian herself to call me and read them to me. I waited all day long with no call, finally I called myself only to find out that the test revealed F I P, an uncommon and fatal respiratory disease. I know there are treatments, but she’s already unresponsive, depressed, weak, and will not eat or drink.
I’m taking her in tomorrow for euthanasia. I’m so torn up over this. I feel guilty because she caught it from another cat, most certainly one of the sick-looking alley cats outside. I keep thinking, I should have kept her in even though she loved patrolling the yard and being outside. I shouldn’t have left a food dish out for the stray cats, even though they came around before I ever left a food or water dish out. Or, I should have been more current with her vaccinations, even though I’m reading that the only licensed vaccination for F I P isn’t very effective and not offered as the standard. I feel angry that I was not informed of her condition first thing this morning. I could have already said goodbye, and she would not be suffering in the other room right now. I’m angry that telling me these test results was not a priority. The treatment I received from the vet clinic made an already painful thing a million times worse. I’m not sure how to cope with this at all. especially the guilt.
Any support would be appreciated so much. I don’t know how I’m going to make it through tonight and tomorrow morning.Nov 20, 2008 at 6:18 #493577
i am so sorry about lydia unfortunately for me my loss of my doggie frosty was very painful and i know what you must be going through. i am still in grief and he will have passed 5 weeks tomorrow. everyone tells me the pain will lessen in time i hope so. i am sorry i can only offer you my sympathies but if you would like to talk feel free to contact me,anaDec 17, 2008 at 1:57 #493578
Hi, my name is Nicole. I’m really sorry for what you had to go through. I found your story comforting in the sense that I can relate very well right now. My parents and I found a little black kitty up at our cabin this summer, and we could tell someone had abandoned him and it looked like he hadn’t eaten for days. We took him in and tried to find a home for him, but he quickly became a part of our family and we wanted to keep him (despite our terrible cat allergies). In the beginning he had a lot of trouble with worms, with the critters he was living off of in the woods… but we got him his shots and nuedered him and he seemed healthy. The vets said he was young after examining him. However, last week we noticed he had no energy, and he wasn’t eating. So my dad took him in right away and they did some bloodwork…. yep, he has FIP. And I know some cats are diagnosed incorrectly, I wish that were the case here. Unfortunately his symptoms are very clear. And every day he becomes more bloated. He has the effusive type, and I know he is going to die. I’ve been pretty depressed the past few days, because I see his condition slowly becoming worse, despite the antibiotics he’s been taking. Tomorrow we hear from the vet to get their opinion. But I already know our kitty’s time is very limited. It’s been extremely hard to see him like this. He was so playful and very loving (when he wanted to be), so it pains me to see his life shortened so abruptly, when he finally found his home. I hope you’re doing well, and hopefully my story could show you you’re not alone. I’m glad I’m not either.
-NicoleDec 21, 2008 at 4:09 #493579
We all cope with our losses in our own ways. Every so often I feel that horrible "what if I caused this" guilt and pain. but none of us who loved so much should ever blame ourselves. Believe me, we do what we know is right for each of our pets. You’ll probably see and hear your pet for a while. Let it be comforting not painful. Try to smile insted of cry. Or cry with a smile. My heart still hurts, but I did the right thing for my Punkin. I miss him sooooo much. Go ahead and cry it out. It’s absolutely normal and necessary. suDec 23, 2008 at 5:54 #493580
Nicole, thanks so much for your reply. I’m still really sad about my cat. I chose to have her put down as soon as I heard the diagnosis, she was nothing but a tiny shell of her former self, and by the time her appointment came she was so miserable and scared it was almost a relief. Sometimes I feel guilty about that. I hope the vet clinic you’re involved with is more caring and sensitive than mine was. I’m not sure if I wrote this in my initial post, but they let her test results sit there for an entire day and chose not to give them to me, even though I asked so many times, they made me wait until the doctor herself was out of surgery…Lydia suffered an entire day and night she didn’t have to because of this, and they were incredibly insensitive when she came in for euthanasia. A terrible experience was made a million times worse because of their care, and I’m still angry about it.
I really hope you do the right thing for your kitty, and I am so very sorry for your pain. Thanks for reaching out to me. Keep in touch if you like, let me know, I’ll give you my personal email.
-RachelDec 23, 2008 at 5:55 #493581
Thank you so much for reaching out to me, I’m so surprised at the response I’ve gotten from this site. Even over a month later the pain is still fierce, and these replies are really helping me through it. I’m also sorry for the loss you’ve experienced. Thank you, again.
-RachelDec 23, 2008 at 3:14 #493582
Rachel, that day the tests sat wouldn’t have made a bit of difference for Lydia’s treatment. By the time you saw Lydia was sick on Saturday, it was already too late. Cats are sick far longer than the time they look sick – they hang on, look normal for a long time, then their systems just get overwhelmed & they crash & burn. It’s a survival mechanism, as cats are solitary & can’t risk being seen as weak, so they don’t lose control until they really are past all help.
Leaving the dish probably didn’t do it, it was probably just chance. Don’t blame yourself.
This kind of infection rages through a cat & there’s no way to fight it. My Fred died of an upper respiratory infection that was only detected 3 days before he died – and he spent the last day on life-support.
My vet said that it was just one of those infections that just happen, it’s no one’s fault.
Fred was an indoor cat, with another indoor cat who wasn’t sick, and he just caught the infection.
Mourn your Lydia for awhile, then go out & help some other orphan cat who needs a home; a cure for a broken heart is another something to love. And keep the new cat indoors, just to be sure.
If you want to get another vet, I can tell you how. I’ll post a new thread in the Cat Health and Dog Health boards on the basics of choosing a new vet, which I had to do when I moved.
ahtnamasDec 24, 2008 at 1:23 #493583
Oh you are absolutely right. Completely. I know that extra day didn’t matter for her treatment. I was just angry because I spent all day hoping for the best and letting myself be positive, when deep down I knew it was bad…she was clearly dying, she wasn’t eating or drinking, she couldn’t use her litterbox, she was depressed and frightened, and all I wanted was for her suffering to end. I was upset because it was an entire extra day we both had to suffer. It just seemed cruel.
Oh! and I’m not trying to be so depressing, but I did try to help this other cat a couple of weeks after Lydia died…it was a feral cat who’d taken a liking to me near my job. She was starting to let me pet her, and the caretaker was threatening to trap her and take her to the pound, so I trapped her and took her to my house…but the little houdini found an escape route out of my garage somehow when I was trying to acclimate her and calm her down, and she’s long gone. I took that pretty hard as well. I felt guilty for trying to relocate her and feared that I made her life worse. I hope not. There’s so much snow here now.
One good thing is…my other kitties are healthy and well, and didn’t seem to catch what Lydia had. And thank you for the new thread regarding veterinarians…I am on the lookout for a new one.
<3 rachelDec 29, 2008 at 10:06 #493584
I apparently violated a rule & they deleted my "How to choose a new vet" thread. I’ll send it to your box. (It may be in several parts…)Aug 24, 2014 at 3:24 #493585
Dear Rachie, l just found this by random. l can see how hard it was for you and it makes me feel more tied to you, and it also reconfirms my impression of you as a very devoted and tender person, animal owner.
l wish l could have been there, l wish l could have listened to you every night you were sad because of it. l wish l could have shared this with you.
lt makes me feel better to know that there were people who supported you and listened to you back then.
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