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Why I'm stressed - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Why I'm stressed [Jan. 19th, 2009|07:22 pm]
So, when I went home over Christmas, it looked like my elder cat Chibi was dying. Something had happened, and he was looking... well, wrong.

I took him to the vet, but we didn't do much. Some subcutaneous fluids and a refill of his thyroid meds.

When I got back, he'd gotten skinnier and both confused-seeming and uncoordinated. He would walk around, but he never seemed to go anywhere. He'd walk right through his water dish. He'd walk on obstacles that he'd normally walk around. He could still see, but he just wasn't acting right.

So I'd resigned myself to the fact that my 16 year old cat was dying. He'd lost interest in food; sometimes I could get him to eat by pushing his face into a plate with some baby food ("first steps" type baby food, beef or chicken and water only), but he wasn't drinking much, and I doubted the amount of food he ate was enough to sustain him.

I'd talked to my dear friend ladysprite, and she helped me get my head on straight, but I decided that, while I wasn't willing to put him through more poking and prodding and testing, I was willing to do some supportive stuff. And, you know, what if he was dehydrated, and that made him nauseous, and that kept him from eating? So I took him in for more subcutaneous fluids. And the doctor brought up prednisone. This was the 30th of December, BTW.

And so, what the hell, I gave it a shot.

And it worked like a miracle. Chibi went from a skinny, confused, clumsy cat to being the cat I've been living with for some 15 years. Oh, I won't say he was ripping around the house or anything, but he really hasn't done a whole bunch of that recently. But I wouldn't have been surprised if he had.

Friday, he had another downturn. Once again, all of a sudden, he was confused, unable to walk straight, unwilling to do any jumping, and he's had no interest in food.

It was bad enough that I was seriously considering taking him to the vet to be euthanized. But I bumped up his prednisone again, instead. And it's started to help again. I'm consulting with the vet today, to find out what to do. (Yes, that's right, I upped his dose on my own. No, I shouldn't have. It was stupid. What if some other treatment would have made him healthy, but this did him some damage? Again: stressed here.)

And it's driving me crazy. I can deal with "Chibi is dying." I don't like it, but I can deal with it. That's part of life.

I can't deal with "Chibi might be dying, or might be a few doses of prednisone away from another miraculous recovery, but how miraculous a recovery is it if it goes away in two weeks once you reduce the prednisone to a normal dose that should keep him stable?"

I can deal with "Chibi will stabilize on X dose of prednisone", but I'm having a hard time dealing with "he might or might not improve, and might or might not relapse on X dose of prednisone".

[User Picture]From: ladysprite
2009-01-20 03:50 am (UTC)
Oh, honey, I'm so sorry - this has got to be terrible for you.

If you need to talk, at any point, just call. And no, what you did wasn't stupid - I know you, and I trust you, and if it was that or euthanasia, well, you took a chance to give him an opportunity to feel better.

I know I can't be there physically, but you and Chibi are in my thoughts.
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[User Picture]From: tiger_spot
2009-01-20 03:54 am (UTC)
Speaking from my experience with prednisone in rats: it is very, very good at making a slowly-dying animal comfortable. It is not good at making them not die.

::hugs:: for you and ::pets:: for Chibi, if you and he would like them.
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[User Picture]From: firecat
2009-01-20 10:27 am (UTC)
That is my experience with prednisone in cats, too.

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[User Picture]From: beaq
2009-01-20 04:28 am (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear it. It's a painful process. You're a good friend to him.
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[User Picture]From: barbarakitten_t
2009-01-20 05:17 am (UTC)
hey john...lovey pets for chibi and lots of hugs for you
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[User Picture]From: pernishus
2009-01-20 07:11 am (UTC)
I'm sorry you're having to go through this, John. All you can do is what you can do -- these things just aren't all that predictable.
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[User Picture]From: grey_lady
2009-01-20 07:30 am (UTC)
As someone with a diabetic cat, I can sympathize. See what the vet says - I don't think you've done anything wrong or harmful. It sounds like you've given Chibi some more good days.
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[User Picture]From: janetmiles
2009-01-20 11:54 am (UTC)
*offers a hug*
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[User Picture]From: 64tbird
2009-01-20 01:18 pm (UTC)
Just ... *hugs offered*
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From: the_ogre
2009-01-20 04:25 pm (UTC)


*sympathy* I hope this works out ok, John.
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