Thursday, October 4, 2018

My beloved Jack is not doing well


This was one post I was dreading writing.


Jack has been exhibiting micro signs that he wasn't feeling well. I had the feeling he has been uncomfortable for a while but they were nothing I could put my finger on. Each time I saw them I would "check in" with him and he responded exactly as he always has.. bright-eyed, willing to eat, attention seeking, even playing on his on occasionally.

I noticed the other day he deliberately walked into the litter box and licked the litter. I know this to be a sign of anemia and planned to take him to the vet if he did it again. We waited and nothing.  Then one day he walked in with litter on his nose. Did he eat that? or did he just get too close sniffing? I wasn't sure. I knew an exam would be several hundred dollars and until the other house sells (which the closing is next week) money was very tight. I was totally willing to spend it if I had something specific as a symptom..

Then he developed a UTI a little over a week ago. This was something.  He was due to have his thyroid rechecked as well, so I scheduled an appointment. Between the time of the schedule and the appointment, he vomited up a lot of water, some litter and little pieces of a plastic bag that was being used as a trash liner.


Well, he was already going in, and he was still eating, so I just made note of it and meant to tell it to the vet.. yes, I forgot.

They did a senior panel on him and found the UTI. They put him on antibiotics. I received a copy of the blood work and saw he was anemic and I emailed and asked about it, but it was the exact same time as Graham, so my question wasn't responded to. Since he was improved on the antibiotic and seemed to be doing better - again, in a non-specific way - I figured I'd talk about it on his follow up appointment.


Now, also during this time, he has been spending more and more time in my "office" hanging out with his head on my laptop. I thought it might be the heat, so I moved the heated bed to where he liked to lay and turned it on, but he refused to lay on it. Since we are still pretty new to this house, and the bedroom is upstairs from my office and the kitchen, I thought he just was reluctant to walk upstairs to come to bed. I was going to talk to the vet about possible pain meds in case it was arthritis.

I'm serious.. there was nothing one could hang a hat on to say he was not doing well, but there were a bunch of micro symptoms that could easily be chalked up to old age. He has thyroid issues, he has kidney issues.  He has been shivering more but not a lot and the first time I ran him to the vet for that she chalked it up to his being old.

And then there was a stumble.

When his antibiotics were almost over he was walking in the bed and stumbled. We have a ton of blankets and a thick mattress pad so I wondered if he just stepped weird. He continued to walk across the bed and no other stumble.  Then the day after, there was another, smaller one.

Is stumbling on an uneven surface an issue? I have no idea. We were due for a followup. I wanted him to be off antibiotics for a few days to make sure we had taken care of the issue. I was planning a follow up with him and an exam for Muffin and thinking that Friday might be a good day to do that.

And then there was the blood.

It was nine pm and he was sitting next to me at work. I was cleaning up my email and watching tv. He stood up and stretched a little and then sniffled and shook his head. Totally normal stuff, right? well, the three droplets of blood that landed on my computer and the one on my hand said differently.

I immediately had a breakdown. A huge ugly cry that made my husband extremely nervous.

You see, the two other nosebleeds in my cats were the precursors to finding cancer and their deaths. Emmy due to nasal cancer months later and Kit with a tumor on her throat that advanced in weeks.

I got an appointment for the next morning (yesterday) and got an exam. They were extremely kind to me. They let me in on an emergency appointment and I was there for over an hour.  During the initial exam, he seemed okay. There was no deformity on his face that would lead to nosebleeds. We talked about what it could be. His kidneys were starting to show signs of his age and his dealing with thyroid issues, but they never threw up warning flags; now with the anemia, it might be a sign of progression and that could be the cause of the nosebleeds due to low platelets. She asked about vomiting and I mentioned that someone had vomited up their breakfast but I didn't know who and Jack clearly vomited last night after the nosebleed but we didn't see it. He only bled a few drops at a time, but it lasted for several hours. He left several drops of blood around the water bowl and several drops of b

She did a full body exam and Jack reacted when she palpated his kidneys by biting me - well his warning bite of wrapping his teeth around my finger. She believed she felt a mass in his stomach so we took some x-rays.  Unfortunately, they weren't as clear as she would have liked. there is something there.. Her next step would be an ultrasound.

So, we talked about all of the possibilities. She said it could be nothing. It could be anemia from the kidneys and with supportive care, he could recover. She said it could be a mass. If it is a mass even in the best case she doesn't see a great prognosis in these cases. He is sixteen and a half.. He is anemic. He has thyroid issues, his heart murmur is back probably from the anemia. We talked about pred, we talked about different options. We did a CBC to see where his anemia was - if it was stable, progressing, or getting better (not likely as she noticed he was pale) and I took him home to give him fluids, an anti-nausea medication, and wait for the results.

Interestingly, the results came in just as I typed results.. his anemia has progressed.

Jack wouldn't eat after the exam. He went and isolated himself in my husband's office all night. I was expecting him to visit me last night and he didn't.


He got fluids last night. He will get some this morning. I am going to start steroids in hopes of shrinking the tumor and to spur him to eat. If not, we are probably going to look at end of life this weekend..

*big fat sobbing ugly cry*

52 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry. Their little lives are so short. So sorry this is happening

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  2. I am so sorry. When they get old and little things start going wrong it is heartbreaking. Sending love and light to you both. I have been there too many times. I understand.

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  3. Oh Connie my heart is breaking for you. I am so so so sorry. I wish there was more I could say or do. :’( <3

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  4. Oh, Connie, I am so very sorry. But good for you for listening to your gut, for your extreme vigilance. The only thing worse than losing them is seeing them suffer. I remember taking my beloved Tavi to the oncologist. When he asked why did you take her to the vet? I told him, "You'll think it's crazy but it was just a feeling." His response, "That's not crazy. You know your pet." And you, definitely, know your pets. Please remember that there is a LOT of support and sympathy out here for you -- as little consolation as that is.

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  5. I’m so sorry to hear this. This is the hard part of having fur children in our lives. My thoughts are with you.

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  6. So very sorry. They become our children, confidants, friends. Be well, Jack.

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  7. OMG OMG. I'm so so sorry. I wish I could offer something more. I know your Jack is like what Tucker was to me. I know exactly how you're feeling. Hug that boy for me.

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  8. I am trying hard not to ugly cry at work... My heart is breaking for you, my friend. I know how precious Jack is to you and to all of us. Sending lots of healing thoughts and purrs... Wish you were closer to I could give him a hug...and you too...

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  9. Oh Connie - I am literally at my desk in tears and trying not to ugly cry with you. I know you know this, but let me know if there is anything I can do. I am SO sorry....there are just special animals out there sometimes and Jack is one of them.

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  10. I'm at a loss for words. Sending comforting thoughts.

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  11. I am so, so sorry to hear of this. We will pray for the best outcome for all of you. Pawhugs.

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  12. Anonymous10:23 AM

    Huge HUGS. So sorry. Sending PURRS.
    Jan (Milo and Alfie's mom) x

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  13. Connie, this is so heartbreaking......I have no words.....just know my thoughts and love are with you. Sadly, it is a fact of life, but we always wish for one more year, one more month, one more day......

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  14. Oh I'm so sorry. This is never easy...and I hope you get a little more time with Jack.

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  15. Oh, Connie...I'm so, so sorry. I know Jack is your heart and your heart must be breaking. I'm thinking about you both and praying he somehow responds to the fluids and steroids. I hope you don't have to say goodbye yet. ❤️

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  16. I'm so sorry to hear about dear Jack and we send purrs and prayer to him and love and hugs to you both.

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  17. oh, oh, oh -- I don't even know what to say. I'm just so, so, so sorry. Holding you and Jack in my heart. I hope with every bit of my being that you don't have to say goodbye just yet. And I know you will do right by Jack no matter what - because that's who you are, and you love him infinitely. Prayers and purrs.

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  18. Sending purrs your way.

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  19. Sending healing purrs and hugs!

    Love,
    Mia, Mosby, Angel Cosmo and Angel CJ

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  20. Jenna Lander11:05 AM

    I am so sorry. I need to do similar for my 20 year old Angel but it's so hard.

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  21. Oh no. I’m crying with you. That’s devastating. Big hugs and purrs coming your way

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  22. I'm so so sorry, Connie!
    Sending you a very big hug.

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  23. So sorry to hear this. Purrs.

    Emma and Buster

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  24. We are so sorry to hear about dear Jack. Sending you hugs and love and purrs, and thinking the best of thoughts.

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  25. I am so sorry to hear this and send love and good thoughts for Jack, and for you too.

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  26. How sad! It isn't easy watching the little things add up to something you bigger. Hugs.

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  27. Oh no,So sorry ,we'll be praying hard for Jack,hugs,xx Rachel and Speedy

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  28. There is no one who reads your words that doesn't feel the fear and heartbreak in them. I am so very sorry and I know how little these words, which are meant for comfort, mean so little at moments like this. We never ever want to lose what we love so dearly. Sometimes it feels like our hearts can't take anymore, yet we do. I am praying for you and for Jack. (wish blogger had edit on comments -- I left out a part of a sentence--sometimes my brain works faster than my fingers!)

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  29. I am truly so very sorry Connie. So heartbreaking, but all I can do is send hugs and prayers for you and Jack. xx

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  30. I’m so sorry, Connie. There are no words. I’ll keep you all in my prayers and hope that Jack makes a turn around. Sending love

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  31. Sending loving hugs and purrs to Jack, and to you. Wish I could wrap you in my arms and we'd cry together, and then laugh, and then cry. Jack is a special kitty; we all feel it.

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  32. Oh no! I'm so sorry that Jack is doing so poorly. I'm sending lots of purrs to both you and him.

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  33. Connie, as so many already have posted, there are no words. My thoughts and prayers are with you both; I will light a candle for him and for you. Whatever happens, may you both be surrounded by Universal Light and Love.

    Kim

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  34. We are never prepared for the possible end, no matter the age and symptoms! Sending love and purrs.

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  35. We are so sorry. We know how much they mean.

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  36. I am so sorry that Jack is not doing well. I will be praying for a miracle for your sweet boy. XO

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  37. We are so sorry to read this. We know what you mean about little things not worth running to the vet every time-( with multiple cats I would be there multiple times a week) You have to do what you feel and what you know of your beloved boy. Purrayers and POTP that there is something that can be done to ease his discomfort - and yours.

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  38. I actually had to leave the office and compose myself after reading this. I don’t know any cat who is more beloved than your beautiful Jack. Sending you both good thoughts and hoping that you can find treatments so you have quality time to make bunches more sweet memories together.

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  39. This is very sad news about Jack. Wishing things turn out well for you both.

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  40. We're so sorry to read this. We send you and Jack tons of purrs. Purrs

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  41. (I just read your facebook post, but for the past two days I have been unable to comment on Facebook)

    Jack is telling you he is ready to go, just as Muffin reminded you she is still here. I am so very sorry.

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  42. Jack; we do not know you as well as everyone else here, but we do know St Francis well enough, to ask him to send his blessings to you, and to be by your side and mom's too. we are sorry, we understand how much this...hurts.....

    with hugs and loves from us all ♥♥♥

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  43. My heart hurts so hard for you. I wish words could physically was the ache....

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  44. Oh Connie, I am so sorry. The kitties send their purrs while I cry with you. Oh that we could keep them with us forever.

    Eileen

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  45. It was so heartbreaking reading about Jack and knowing what you are going through. We will be here for you, Connie, and love you.

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  46. Connie, we are so sorry. Sending purrs, prayers and all good thoughts for the best possible outcome.

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  47. Connie, I just saw the news on the CB that Jack has passed. I didn't think so soon. I wish I had some words of comfort for you, but of course there are none. Know that many tears will be shed for you, as we understand the heartbreak, though of course only you truly know the bond you had and have with him. My thoughts and prayers are with you, I will keep my candle lit for you and for Jack's spirit today. Peace and hugs to you.

    Kim

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  48. iz all furry sadz. r hartz break fur yoo, sending big purrrrrrrsssssss

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  49. We are sending big purrs, many prayers ... and hoping you will feel better, be better soon. Hang in there dear Jack ...

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  50. We are so very sorry. Jack was so amazingly gawjus and purrfect. He will be missed and 'membered by all. Fank you fur luvvin' him and givin' him the bestest life a kitty could ask fur. We're sendin' hugs and purrayers.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Raena

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  51. I am so sorry to read this about Jack, please give him kisses from us and we send tons of purrs and prayers. Caren and Cody

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  52. I'm so sorry. When your hair stands on end like that you know, even without any results. I sincerely hope the pred puts it into a good long remission, maybe like forever. We are sending lots of hugs and purrs.

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