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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my 14 yr old blind diabetic cat (who is in early renal failure as well) has some serious eye problems
i have known for some time that he needs to have his eyes removed (there is NO possibility of him ever seeing)

but no vet would do it til his diabetes was under control

well now his diabetes is under control, but his kidneys are in *slightly* worse shape

and he is senile (he goes in circles several times a day- just rapidly walks in circles)

he also seems a bit disoriented (although being blind, who could blame him there???) and has urinated outside the box a few times- i think because he was sleeping deeply, woke up and realized he had to go, and could not recall how to get to the litterbox and/or the litterbox is too far away

i may have located a vet who would do the surgery on his eyes, but now i am wondering, should i put him thru that?? at his age and with him being senile, how much will this improve his quality of life??

money unfortunately is also a factor, this was supposed to be a foster cat- i got him from the shelter about a year ago, just wanted to give the old boy a retirement home
didn't know he was diabetic, etc
so i have had to register him with a charity that sponsors him for his diabetic needs
and if the surgery is done, it will only be due to the kindness and generosity of online freinds and strangers as well
so i feel an ever greater obligation to insure that their money is well spent, you know?

what do you think?
i can't find anything on feline senility, is it progressive as it is in dogs?

i know he can't go back in time, but does he have any reasonable expectation of a decent amount of good time left????

anyone else face this problem?

how do you decide?

thanks for any input

althea snoop and the girls too

1,647 Posts
Ok... I am a lil confused... Why do his eyes need to be removed?? Ok he's blind, but does the cat really need the surgery for health reasons or what?

If it can not be avoided you need to consider the anaesthetic, because of your cats age theres an increased possibility of your cat not waking up, or having more problems after surgery.

On a personal note... My cat lived quite happy and pain free for about a year with renal failure (undiagnosed until he had to be put down) However he was not senile either. As harsh as this may sound (and I don't mean it to be) maybe you should consider euthanasia... I do not suggest this lightly as it was myself who had to go through having my cat put to sleep when I was 18 (my cat was 14) and it still upsets me but I know it was the right thing

*hugs* Sorry I couldn't help more

Hayley x x

46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

oh i am sorry i guess i left something out, he has several painful eye condtions for which surgery is really the only option

it is so hard
i had a diabetic cat before who also had failing kidneys
she was diabetic for 2 yrs
then cured from that somehow

then in renal failure for 2 yrs
she was only 9 yrs old when she died and i miss her terribly

sorry about your kitty
it is SO hard!

3,560 Posts
Is it possible that his urinating outside the box is being caused by a UTI?

Also, are you absolutely sure he is senile and maybe not just in severe pain or suffering from an additional ailment of some sort?

Are you absolutely comfortable with your vet and do you trust/his her judgement 100%?

In my personal opinion, I do not think it would be fair to put a 14 year old diabetic cat with renal failure through an eye operation.

I also think that if you are sure that nothing else is going on with your dear kitty, it may be the appropriate time to say goodbye. I know it's hard, but sometimes you have to decide if the quality of life for your cat is what it should be to keep him alive. We tend to keep our animals around for selfish reasons, and sometimes the most unselfish thing we can do is put them out of their misery.

I do suggest you seek a second opinion on all of these problems before doing anything.

Good luck.

428 Posts

I agree with the previous post. We need to forget about our feelings and put the animals first. Good luck and I'll say a prayer for you and your baby.

2,101 Posts
Everyone has made good points here, and certainly this is the time when you need to stop and think what criteria would make you say okay, enough, it's time to say goodbye. Is he eating well? Grooming? Taking an interest in life? Still enjoying being petted, brushed, loved? Doing his usual behaviors and routines? Or is he hiding, not moving around much, complaining, eating less, or showing other symptoms of discomfort or pain.

If his eyes are chronically painful, they must be treated somehow. Removing the eyes is a painful procedure in itself so you would want the most assurance you can get that he will be around long enough to enjoy the benefits after he has healed. It's possible that the pain is part of what's causing the symptoms of senility. I would definitely recommend getting a second opinion. The more information you have, the better you'll be able to honestly assess the situation and make a decision you can feel comfortable with.

My personal bias is that I would rather euthanize a day too soon than a day too late. I want to prefer to prevent suffering as much as possible. However, I believe that animals are very forgiving and that a decision made from love can never be wrong.

Best wishes,
Dr. Jean

46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks everyone


well i have only had this guy for a little over a year now, i got him from the shelter knowing that he was old deaf and blind (he has since regained his hearing)

i do not know what happened to him to cause the blindness and deafness and a few other physical deformities that he has but some past trauma has been suggested by the vets he has seen

he has now seen 6 different vets and a consultation over the phone was done with 2 specialists

removing his eyes (or at least the right one) is the only real hope to relieve the pain

he has luxated lenses and chronic uveitis and something else i forget what it is called
he has a corneal defect in his right eye with chronic ulcerations so the prednisone drops are not really working and often cause more pain as they thin the cornea and then he has pain from that

all vets have agreed that having his eyes removed is the best/only option
however only two have agreed to do it, and one of those had only done it once before and was a bit too eager and did not ask what i would consider the right questions...............
the other one who said she would do it, i do not know enough about, my cat sitter took him to her, so i was not there when she said this and i do not know how much she knew about his overall condition

his blood work keeps showing very low lymphocytes
and he is borderline anemic

anyone know what would cause that? the lymphs keep going lower

his phosphorus is good, potassium good etc
total protien is chronically high (chonic dehydration, he does not eat before the blood work) and his globulin was high this last time too
his blood glucose was low!LOL only 58! it figures (this was only 3 hrs after his shot too)
he has gone very low with out any symptoms except that he will get up and chow down on dry food when his bg drops, thank heavens!

(he was anemic when i got him, and severely dehydrated and actually very nearly dead)

he does like to eat, sometimes....he gets spoiled easily- if i give him something to get him to eat, like a bit of deli low salt turkey , forget it! he will refuse to eat til he gets more! little stinker
so i save those things for when he is sick and cant eat due to nausea etc

he sleeps a great deal of the time- but then he is 14
but he sleeps more now and tires more easily than before

i have a 17 yr old that does not tire out like he does (of course she is in perfect health.........)

he has never played, he has never even walked at normal speed really since i got him
he cant jump
he cant run
he cant play with other cats
he seeks me out if he is confused or lonely

he likes to go outside but tires easily and will lay down after only about 5 mins (plus he has photophobia so i only take him out if it is dark or cloudy)

he will sometimes "hide" - well HE thinks he is hiding! being blind he does not realize that just facing the wall does not make him hidden from view..
i shouldn't laugh when he does that but its funny in a sad way, you know?

the subQs he is getting do not seem to be enough- his creatinine is only 3.6 and yet he needs 100ccs LRS every other day- and more, but i do not have the go ahead from the vet for more yet
he is not staying hydrated on this amount

his diabetes is under control most of the time
so that is good for a change

he is not always using the litter box and that clearly distresses HIM more than me

he does not enjoy being petted- never has- well a little chin skritch once in awhile

he does let me pick him up and rock him, he loves things that vibrate and things that move like that

he is also wobbly on his back legs and this just cant be neuropathy with his bgs topping out in the low 200s

he circles several times a day
just goes in circles

vet said its senility, if it were not he would do it all the time
(like if it were a brain tumor)

i have read that there is a chance he is not getting enough oxygen to his brain due to the effects of aging and that could cause this circling, or maybe that is just an explaination for dementia??

i dont know

its hard because sometimes he looks comfortable

i had a cat who had really bad CRF (creatinine in the double digits) and i opted to put her to sleep before she crashed agian (she had survived 3 crashes) so that her last memories - or mine of her, i guess - would be of good times, not pain and suffering and fear
i did not want to wait til that happened

but i knew a lot more about her

i know very little about this guy

i did know when i took him in that he would not be with me long
but its very hard to decide what to do now- after only knowing him for a year and after seeing how much progress he has made in that time.

so far he has only gotten better- til now
now he is backsliding

i know that the CRF is progressive and terminal
the diabetes complicates that

but CRF kitties and diabetics can live a long time past diagnosis

just not sure if THIS kitty can...............

well i will have to see how things go

i just had surgery so i am a bit worn out and need to be in better shape to make this kind of decision

thanks for your input

i think i have a bit more time to decide but i too would rather too soon than too late

unfortunately another factor that is holding me up is that he is a LOT of work
and i wonder, am i thinking of doing this for my sake or his???

well like i said i just had surgery so maybe when i have fully recovered i can think more clearly

this is never an easy thing to do!


2,101 Posts
Al, your own health and welfare are important considerations here...please don't feel bad if you need to factor these things into your decision, you absolutely should. It is totally okay to make the decision for your sake. He will not hold it against you, I promise.

You've already provided him with a loving, caring home for the past year, which is a lot more than he had going for him when you took him.

Whatever you decide will be the right decision. I don't want to sound too woo-woo, but as a vet I have participated in hundreds of euthanasias, and I truly believe that once they cross over, that everything, no matter what, is forgiven and forgotten. They don't hold grudges.

One of my kitties (20 years old) sent me a message a few days after I put her to sleep, through a friend who is an animal communicator. She said (really!) "Thank you thank you thank you! I forgot how wonderful it is over here! I don't know why I waited so long!" I think she was really happy to be done with a body that wasn't serving her, and thrilled at being re-united with her dearest kitty companion who died 6 months before.

Honestly, given that enucleation surgery is a tough recovery, and there is nobody in your area that really knows what they are doing (although it is not a difficult surgery, it is pretty brutal and you need a surgeon who won't wimp out!), I'm not sure I could recommend putting him through that...and that may make the decision easier because we know he's hurting. You've done so much for him; please know that giving him a peaceful release is also a great gift of love--maybe the most important gift you can give him.

Dr. Jean

3,560 Posts
I agree with everything Dr. Jean has said above.
Please do also take care of yourself. That's the most important thing right now.

46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·

well he's had a few better days, so for now i will just keep doing what i am doing
my old girl (17) is urinating up a storm now, she was just in very early renal failure but it looks like that may be progressing now
she's not diabetic and she's not hyperT (been tested 3Xin past 8 mos for hyperT because she eats so much, and i test her BG at home)
so i guess its her kidneys now, she has some vomiting as well
if its not one thing...............

i wish i were not so tired,
i think if i make any decisions *now* i may regret that when i feel better

but i do think that my boy is very near the end, i just wish there was a better way to know for sure, without him getting deathly ill first

thanks for all your replies, its very helpful
i will keep you updated

thanks again
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