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Hi all,


I would like some thoughts on when best to put my boy down.

I have a 16 year old (nearly 17) black male moggie who, in February 21 was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma growing on his jaw.

He has been on Metacam every day to help with the pain, and over the past 7 months the growth has probably grown over 10 times the size it was at the initial diagnosis.

He has now lost quite a few teeth and is struggling to eat more and more, along with drooling constantly.

I have tried everything I can think of, having tried every form of cat food I can find available, blending and sieving food and making a variety of fresh meals for him to eat.

I am currently at the stage where he gets his liquid through me mixing water with his cat food soup pouches, and only real calories via me hand-feeding him steamed chicken or fish. Though he is still very eager to eat, he is really struggling now and can only eat a few grams of hand-fed food a day.

I have had Millie since I was 10 and am extremely attached to him- he still seems very happy day-to-day; very cuddly, loves to sun himself and still tries his best to groom, but I'm very aware that he will be deteriorating due to the calorie deficit.

I am hesitant to take him back to the vets (last time I took him was at initial diagnosis, but have had several chats with the vets since and all they can recommend is palliative care) as he gets himself very worked up on the journey and I'm sure he will harm his mouth further whilst panicking in the car. Due to Covid, no vets in my local area seem to be able to do home visits aside from to euthanise, so I can't seem to get a second-opinion.

I am really struggling with when to make the call as, aside from struggling to eat, he is very much the same happy, loving boy I've had for most of my life- so I don't want to preempt, but I also don't want to prolong due to selfishness.

I realise there is no right or wrong with this, and that I know him better than anyone - I'm just struggling with how to process when enough really is enough.

I love him and unbearable amount and he means so much to me, so thank you so much for any advice!

I've attached some images of him to hopefully paint a clearer picture.
Plant Cat Eye Felidae Dog breed Cat Felidae Carnivore Small to medium-sized cats Whiskers Eye Felidae Botany Plant Tree
 

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people kept telling me i'd know, and i did. my favorite cat started to get a lot of things wrong with her (none as serious as yours, just a lot: CKD, hypterT, blindness, IBD, joint issues) when she was 13, and i medicated her successfully for 5 more years and took her to the vet every 6 months. i know it's harder with the quarantine, but as long as he seems happy and cuddly, keep doing what you're doing. mine collapsed one day from liver failure and blood tests showed she was in stage 4 CKD (from stage 2) so i put her down. i didn't want to but she honestly seemed worn out. you probably have good days and bad days, but as long as there are more good, it's probably okay. best wishes, i know it's hard.
 

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He has now lost quite a few teeth and is struggling to eat more and more, along with drooling constantly.......Though he is still very eager to eat, he is really struggling now and can only eat a few grams of hand-fed food a day.
This is the point where I would let him go. He must be hungry, but can't eat very much. If he's not eating enough, his body will begin shutting down.

I've had to make this awful decision twice, so I know how heartbreaking it is.
 

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It's really a question of quality of life. Cats are very stoic, so he is not showing you all of what he is feeling, in all probability.
If he is struggling that much just to eat and he cannot manage to eat enough to be comfortable, then I would say it was time if it were my cat we were talking about. I have been there, and it can be the hardest thing you ever did, but I always put the cat's comfort first, and if the cat cannot really be comfortable then I think it's time.

It is true that it is far better to make that decision and do it on a day that you fear might be too early than to wait too long and see your beloved suffer. The animal doesn't really know about one more day or one week less. But it can be a truly terrible thing to realize one should have acted sooner.
 
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