advice on sick stray
I have been helping feed a TNR stray at my apartment for about 2 years now. He is a really nice and easy-going guy. Recently, he has become ill. About a week ago, he started dragging his hind legs. I am not sure what happened to him, but he started to improve after about a day, and his appetite was great. I brought him to the vet where they did not find any broken bones but they found a slight pleural effusion (fluid on his lungs). To evaluate it further, they said they would need some pretty costly diagnostics like an echocardiogram and what not. I had already spent $300 on him, and I was not sure how much more it would take to diagnose him. Even then, the vet said it might be from lymphoma since he had never been checked for FeLV, and there would not be much to treat him with that was not really expensive. They gave him a pain shot (Medicam), and then I took him back and let him go.
About 3 days later, it seemed like he recovered and was jumping, running, and going up stairs. Just suddenly 2 days after his "recovery," he is back in the same state, dragging his hind legs and barely able to move. He has shown no improvement after 2 days, and his appetite is now gone completely. He has not eaten and drank water for at least a day. I took him into my apartment overnight for some good rest and a dry bed, but this morning he painfully dragged himself over to the door and started yowling to be let out. When I opened the door, he immediately dragged himself out and has just been sitting outside because I live at the top of a flight of stairs, and he cannot make it down. I have left out a bowl of water and some dry food, and I rolled out a chair with a tablecloth over it to cover him from the rain. He seems to be much more comfortable outside, but he yowls still on occasion and yearns to be back at his romping grounds, even though all he has been doing is hiding in some bushes.
He is such a lovely cat, and I cannot bear to see him like that. Given my limited financial resources, I think I probably will need to put him to sleep to save him from any further distress, but I was hoping someone would have other advice.
I have posted in another forum and contacted the local humane society (no response), so that I can get the maximum input.
Thanks in advance.