I originally joined this forum about four days ago seeking advice/insight about the medication my cat was prescribed, because I was questioning its necessity and didn't think it was good for him. Last night I had to put my sweet boy to sleep because his liver failed, and I know exactly why.
One week ago I took him to the vet because he has been obsessively licking/grooming. The vet diagnosed it as psychogenic (which I agree with) and said he was stressed. His solution was to give my cat valium. He mentioned that in rare cases valium can cause liver failure, but assured me that all of those cases were because of overdosage and as long as we were careful it would be fine.
The first two days of him taking the Valium, it was clear that his dosage was way too high. I called back to the vet and they told me to cut the dosage in half. By that point I had done more research on Valium and had been told by a few sources that there are other, better options that don't put their health in danger. But I decided to give it one week and then try something else.
After calling my vet a second time with concerns about the effects of the drug on my cat and they instructed me to just change his dosage again, I decided to make an appointment with a second vet because I was sure there was something else that could be done. Most people prescribe Prozac or Xanax before Valium, and even humans are discouraged from using it for daily use.
Friday I noticed he wasn't eating when he normally devours all his food, and Saturday I took him to an emergency clinic. His bloodwork came back with astronomical numbers of the ALT enzyme, which is indicative of liver failure. For him to even spend one night hospitalized with all the supportive care he needed, it would have been over $1000, with no guarantees of saving him. So I had to make the hardest decision of my life and put him to sleep.
My cat's death was completely avoidable if I had just gotten a second vet's opinion or questioned the validity of my vet. I will be calling them tomorrow morning and demanding an explanation, but I truly wish I would've just listened to my gut and not given him the meds that were clearly not necessary.