Hi- I just read your blog about Minnie. I am an American cat owner…

Hi- I just read your blog about Minnie. I am an American cat owner living in Thailand, so communicating with the vets is difficult. I’m on the verge on having my cat euthanized (tomorrow), and i just can’t make a decision. I hoping you will provide information to help me make a decision. Sammy is a ten year old male. Here is his history:
Dec 7-28- hiding under bed with dilated pupils but eating normally (history of spraying and hiding- not a happy cat so I wasn’t overly concerned, I palpated him and he didn’t seem to have any pain and I figured he got spooked)
Dec 29- I noticed he was a little lame so I brought him to local vet who couldn’t find anything wrong but spinal bone spurs and prescribed him Tramadol. It tasted bitter, he foamed at the mouth and started eating much less. I believe his feeding aversion started here.
Dec 31- I found a neurologist who gave him an MRI and he had surgery for a herniated disc Jan 2, 2019 and was diagnosed with a spinal infarction. He had a hard time clearing the anesthesia drugs bc of his kidney function but it is now normal.
Month of January- Slowly improving in ability to walk but losing interest in food more and more, (doctor says attributable to drowsiness caused by Pregabalin for neuropathic pain) losing weight. (Also, had ataxia from reaction to anti depressant used as appetite stimulant.) He had to be hand fed strips of ham, I believe he developed a further food aversion from me trying to syringe feed him pureed roasted chicken at around Jan 31.
Feb 1- I asked the vet to put an E tube in him because of his refusal to eat on his own. He was doing ok and walking better until his tube fell out and he had to have a new surgery mid-February to replace it. Surgery and clearing anesthesia drugs is really hard on him. Since then, his walking was getting better but then it suddenly got worse and the doctor found that his potassium was low – it got better once he changed to renal diet and Renavast. He has also been on Pregabalin for neuropathic pain, Apolet and Kasavan.

March- His walking got worse again, and I saw him endure one small stroke but the vet was not too concerned. Vet said he has reduced blood flow to his back left leg. He had replaced Kasavan with Apolet, but then added Kasavan back into his medication regimen. He is not improving in the last two weeks with the addition of the Kasavan, he drags himself to the litterbox to poop but pees in his bed. He still grooms himself and responds to me but he has a low growl when I touch him- probably bc he is so sick of all the poking and prodding. He has NO INTEREST in eating. I withheld food for 18 hours this week and withheld Pregabalin (bc the doctor said it makes him sleepy and not eat) and still NO INTEREST.

About 4 times along this journey I’ve decided it’s time to euthanize him but then he perks up and I decide not to. He is normal other than not eating, lying in bed all day (bc he can barely walk) and peeing on himself. He grooms himself and poops in litter box. I don’t think he is in acute pain but his pupils are often dilated, which just may be from stress of being incapacitated. I have varied amount of PG I give him to test his pain, and he doesn’t to be in pain but I’m not sure. I haven’t been able to get him to purr for a week or so, usually he will purr at night if I bring him into bed with me.

The vet says 90% of the time cats recover from spinal infarction. He told me start physical therapy with him but I tried and he hates it and it just upsets him more. I can’t figure out if there is any hope of him getting better. Like I said, he has always been a grumpy, hiding cat and often would growl if you approach him to pet him so that is not new. I was hoping to give him a few last years of his life. I think he is depressed and I don’t know of any way to get him out of his funk, and I still don’t know if he will ever recover use of his legs or will just get worse.

ANY INSIGHT??????????????? THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Krista Magnifico
3 years ago

Hello, I am so sorry to hear about your cat and the difficulties you have had getting answers. I also want to state that I cannot, and will not ever, make a decision for a pet. That has to be your decision. You know him and you have to always be their advocate. It isn’t fair to him to let others decide. I do think that there are some pretty big holes in the plan as you present it. I don’t know if anyone did bloodwork or xrays or have repeated them as he has progressed. I also think that… Read more »

Krista Magnifico
3 years ago

hello, the feeding tube stays in for as long as it is needed. I always advise leaving all sorts of food options out at all times and using an appetite stimulant to help encourage the eating on their own. If you trust your vet then follow their guidance and keep pestering them (respectfully and graciously) for direction. I am not going to answer all of your concerns as it sounds like you have already asked/addressed them. I do feel like in the end cats need loads and loads and loads of dedicated patience. I have known some cats who need… Read more »