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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My cat has osteosarcoma of the left front foot. He puts no weight on it and hops around on three legs. It is quite large - I can't measure it because he thinks I'm up to something and runs away. He's an ex-feral. He sleeps considerably more than my 9 year old (who doesn't have cancer) but he does come out to the kitchen ever so often and other places in the apartment. There's a shelf over my bed that he routinely jumps up to; it's a 2.5' jump then a 3' jump to get to it. When I lay on the bed, he comes over to crawl under the covers and get scratched. His appetite is declining. I don't know exactly what he eats because I have dry kibble out for him and the 9 year old eats from that also. I give him tuna every day. All of the liquid and about a tablespoon of the tuna. He usually only eats half the tuna but drinks all the juice. I also give him canned food and he eats a fair amount of that - about 3/4 of a Tbs. He seems to be still enjoying life but I wonder how I'll know when it's time and I'm extremely anxious about it. I don't want him to suffer but I wonder how I'll know when it's getting close to that.
 

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I don't know what osteosarcoma is... is it possible to amputate the leg, so he doesn't have to hold it up all the time? That might also keep it from spreading (if it's malignant).

I've been wondering about Paizly. She's only 10, but because of deformed back legs, has arthritis... if her bad days go for too many in a row, I start thinking maybe it's time. Then all of a sudden she'll start with good days and almost be like a kitten again, then I think "Well, maybe not now, after all!". She loves to confuse me ;p
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I could've amputated the leg but the vet said it really wasn't a good decision for this cat. Amputating a leg requires a lot of follow up visits and Jake was deathly afraid of going to the vet. After his biopsy, he ran away for 10 days. Besides, osteosarcoma is such an aggressive cancer, the patient usually ends up dying of it anyway; the amputation didn't help.
 

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I didn't believe this until I went through it the last two times, but YOU know. Truly, YOU know when it's time. There will be a number of times where you wonder, but when it's time, you really do know that your baby no longer has any quality of life. I don't know exactly how to explain it, but with my last two, there just came a point where I knew I had to do it -- up until then, even until a day or two before, I wasn't certain.

As the caregiver, as the cat's "person" you know that cat better than anyone else. That's why I emphasized the YOU -- no one else can tell you. The vet can give you his/her best opinion, and you do need to listen to it on matter of whether or not your cat is in pain, but, only you know if the cat no longer has quality of life.

When I had to do it, even though I was unbelievably sad (Dec 2009 & July 2011), at the moment, I knew it was right. The days leading up to it were horrible, and the uncertainty of making the wrong decision was ripping my heart apart. I can't truly explain it - there will come a time where you look your cat in the eyes and you just know.

I'm so sorry. I know how much this process hurts. I'm crying just typing this and remembering. Look at it that it's the last bit of loyalty and love you can give to your furry friend -- to help him die with dignity and as peacefully as possible. If you can, stay with him to the end, let him feel comforted by you until he doesn't feel anything anymore.
 

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My Samantha was stricken with cancer 5 days after her 16th birthday, I came in and she was laying on the floor in great distress.
I rushed her to the vet where they felt a mass in her belly, ultra sound reveled tumors around her spleen and in her intestines.
The only option was extensive surgery with no guarantee of anything more then a little more time.
In a single day my beautiful baby had become old and feeble, her coat had lost it's glow and her eyes were dull.
It was time, I couldn't bear to see her suffer anymore and she died in her Papa's arms while I told her how much I loved her.
I wish I'd been a better care taker in so many ways but I can't regret the decision. I just wish someone could do that for me when the time comes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The last two posts made me cry. I'm comforted to know that I'll just know but anxious that I'll be able to move in time so that he doesn't suffer a moment longer. Thanks for the info.
 

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This is a really hard decision to make. He has bone cancer which is not going to get better. Cats have a way of not showing pain or being sick. If his leg is continuing to get larger I would wonder if his pain is also getting worse. I don't know how the pain is for a cat but when I was a nurse taking care of people with bone cancer it is a cancer with one of the worst pain a person can have. Some got relief with pain medicine some never did. Only you can tell if he is getting worse. If he is getting worse you know what has to be done. I am so sorry you have to go through this. Did you ever get a hold of the vet to see if they would give you an injection to help him sleep before they come? I know you were talking about having a vet come to your home.
 

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In the past I have always had to remind myself that in the end we are sad because we know what we are missing. He's (the cat) is not here to know he's not here.

I hate this part, which is why it took me so long to get another cat. [email protected], I'm tearing up just reading this post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Sunset97,

My vet made it sound like it required a fair degree of technique and wasn't that easy. She said it had to be injected real slow and that it was painful. That made me think I couldn't do it because it could go wrong. My vet said there was medication that I put just behind his lip that would make him really goofy then she said she would come in and do the sedation and euthanasia. She 's charging me less than the mobile vets. I'm thinking I will go that route although she will be away from the 6th to the 15th and I may have to go with a mobile vet if it's his time.

He still has a fairly good appetite and hops around the apartment checking things out. When I lay down on the bed, he gets up from where he is and comes over to have his ears scratched.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Generally, you have to make vets appointments several days ahead of time. How do I time that? I'm really worried with Labor Day coming up. I'm worried he'll be in excruciating pain and I won't be able to find anyone. Should I just try to have it done this Saturday even though he doesn't seem there yet? I don't know that I can even get in for this Saturday.
 

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If he's alert and jumping around and following you to get his ears scratched, it doesn't sound to me like he's there yet. Most will go off eating their food, but may continue to drink a bit. They really do get a "look" in their eyes when it's time....hard to describe maybe slightly spacey or unfocused? and some will seek out a quiet or dark place. In worst case scenario over the long weekend, you would have to take him to an emergency vet clinic, or use a mobile vet if that's your preference. All the best, I'm sure you will do what's best for your furkid. :patback
 
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So sorry for your situation.
When i'st time you'll just know, like a punch in the gut.
Kitty will be listless, his coat will be dull and his eyes will no longer be bright.
It will be like over night he's aged 10 years, he will look old and feeble.
You'll know because if you love him your heart will be breaking.
It's a terrible thing, our pets are like babies who never grow up, but the paradox is they grow old and they get ill and we have to do for them what they can't do for themselves, comfort them and hold them when they pass from this world to the next.
I felt blessed I was able to be there for my Samantha.
 
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