etumukutenyak: (Auschwitz-Birkenau)
Last night, he got up to eat several times, but didn't eat much, and was losing energy. I made a bed for him with a foam pad (from a dog bed) and a large soft towel. He immediately lay down on it, and didn't budge from it the rest of the night.

This morning, when the light came on, I could see that he was still breathing, still resting, and not getting up. I knew it was time to end it, as the quality of his life was now declining.

We woke up the Son to say good bye, and I gave Buzz the sedative, analgesic, and anesthetic. We petted him as he fell asleep, and passed on. We told him what a good, sweet, nice cat he was, even if he did pee and poop all over the place, and that he could go rest now.

I'll take his body to the crematorium later, and we'll spread his ashes with the other cats at my parents' house; he'll join Babe, R-Cat and Stripey, all of whom he knew in his kittenhood.

When he got diabetes, I knew he'd be the first of those three (Buzz, Cinder and BT) to die. He made it to more than 14.5 years, and with the diabetes that's a pretty good old age. He was in no pain, and the end was fairly quick.

Our son was a little upset about our emotions, but I stopped him from leaving the area and told him I wasn't crying because Buzz was dying, I was crying because he was sick. I reminded him that death isn't a bad thing, and that my Veterinarian's Oath includes "ending pain and suffering", which is what we were doing. I explained every injection, and why we call it "going to sleep". We all saw him put his head down and relax and fall asleep.

Thank you all for your good wishes for Buzz. Believe me, he had an excellent life -- he never lacked for tuna or catnip, windows to rest by and watch the birds, and he had plenty of places to pee/poop, with maid service to clean up for him. He was a sweet and happy cat, and we all loved him very much.
etumukutenyak: (skull with nails)
Still alive, still breathing, still no other clinical signs. Very puzzling. I did palpate a possible enlarged thyroid, on the right side of the trachea -- now I have to figure out whether he also has hyperthyroidism.

No jaundice, no diarrhea, no cardiac thrill, pulses that could be (barely) palpated were steady and not galloping. I could not really do any abdominal palpation as that upset him.

He wasn't interested in food when I got home, so I went ahead with 10 mg Solu-Delt and 4 mg of Dex. About an hour later he was up and had his face in a bowl, but he didn't eat a lot -- he's slowing down. I mushed some of the food into warm water and left it, and saw him lever himself up to investigate, so I have hopes that he might have eaten some more.

I'll give him some more Solu-Delt and Dex before I go to bed, and we'll see if staggering it like this helps any.

Other news: I learned today that one of my cousins (I have only two first cousins, my dad's older sister had two sons) was recently diagnosed with colon cancer, and was having surgery today. This upset my mother, as she likes him and his wife; we all like him -- he's a nice guy, and funny. I wanted to know more so I called my aunt, who had gone to the hospital, and she called back a little while ago. The surgeon said it's Stage IV, because there's liver metastases already. The primary tumor was only golf-ball-sized, and did not have any perforation or blockage. The National Cancer Institute has a page on colon cancer for medical professionals. There's still good results for this stage, depending on several factors.

It's still a scary cancer. Honey lost one of her aunts about 2 years ago, and that was a huge loss. Aunt B was very welcoming -- a true Christian woman -- and I mourned almost as much as she did. And of course, anyone who's been on LJ long enough might remember [livejournal.com profile] kielle who died rapidly from advanced colon cancer.

But other than that, life is fine, as Mrs. Lincoln once said. I have a cat asleep on my lap (Brady), the Son has done homework and gone off to bed secure in the knowledge that he has a day off tomorrow (for Yom Kippur -- I never dreamed that one day the schools would acknowledge Jewish holidays!) and we don't, so I'll be running around as usual.
etumukutenyak: (skull with nails)
Last night's dinner was meh, as he seemed to run out of energy and didn't eat as much at one time. He did still eat a decent amount of soft and dry foods, and is drinking. He was off/on/off the bed, and was waiting for breakfast, but again didn't eat very much at one time. I gave him insulin anyway, last night and this morning, in case we're dealing with hyperglycemia again.

I repeated the dex last night and this morning, along with some solu-delt this am, plus some penicillin because we're getting into large doses of steroids.

His resp effort is stable -- not normal, but not worse; it flares up when he tries to do something like poop or walk around, so he lies down and it settles. He prefers tuna, and his special gooshy fud, so at least his appetite is sorta normal.

Kedgie is most put out when I block her from the nommy-smelling stuff in his bowl. Brady, being able to leap the gate, simply dines on extra in his bowl.

No nasal discharge, no sneezing or coughing, no blood anywhere; just increased respiratory effort. It can't be anything but bronchitis or asthma, and with no cough it's more likely asthma -- it's just taking so long to resolve. Then again, he's 14+ years old, and is diabetic, so we're probably also dealing with hyperglycemia, and its attendant loss of energy.
etumukutenyak: (Nuclear night test)
Last night, around 11:15 I got up to go to the bathroom, and when I looked back, Buzz (who had been asleep next to me) was gone. So I finished up and went to the door, to find him peeing on the blue pad. He finished up, and walked over to the water bowl, so I thought I'd offer him some fud -- which he gobbled up. Seeing that, I gave him his regular insulin dose (only about 5.5 hours late).

He settled back on the bed around my feet, as that was next to the edge of the bed where he'd landed. Later, sometime in the middle of the night, he was off and on again, and this time came up alongside for petting. I could feel that his resp effort was much less, although the rhythm is still slightly above normal. His breathing was easier, and he was happier. I kept petting and palpating to reassure myself I wasn't dreaming it.

This morning he was up as usual, ready for breakfast, and stuck his face right in. When I got back from feeding the downstairs kitties, he was lying on the floor, so I offered him the last of the tuna in the can. Without getting up, he put his face in and ate the rest of the tuna while Kedgie finished off Brady's fud.

I am exhausted from not sleeping well, but I'll sleep better tonight knowing that we've turned a corner. Moral of the story: Use the correct steroid at the best dose.
etumukutenyak: (Gromit puzzled)
You'd think I'd be saying this to my son, and you'd be wrong. It's Buzz. He thinks that a folded-up laptop is a cat rest, and he does. Brady tries to jump up on laps that are occupied with laptops, and walks across keyboards, but only Buzz sits/lies/stands/reclines on a laptop.

He's just special that way.

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