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Another sad pet story

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RunningMn9
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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by RunningMn9 »

A 10-month old kitten? I am so sorry. :(
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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Alefroth »

Kraken wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:43 pm
If Warren dies, I am done with pets forever.
So, so, sorry Kraken. It's so hard not to feel this way.

Hope he recovers and is with you for a long time.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by hitbyambulance »

Kraken wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:43 pm
If Warren dies, I am done with pets forever.
i totally get where you're coming from. but i don't get 'forever'.

after our last dog died 19 years ago, my dad never got another dog again.... and he's clearly worse off for it. he'd rather go through the deprivation and loneliness and resultant mental deterioration than ever having to go through another pet death. but if one thinks about it - one can rescue yet another animal from the shelter and give them a good home. i would gladly endure the grief and heartbreak from a longtime pet's death just to give another unwanted animal a chance at a good life for as long as they live (and also bumping up the queue for the next one in line to get the same chance.) it's a lot of pain for me, but it's worth it in the long run calculus for the animals themselves.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

Alefroth wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:19 pm
Kraken wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:43 pm
If Warren dies, I am done with pets forever.
So, so, sorry Kraken. It's so hard not to feel this way.

Hope he recovers and is with you for a long time.
He was supposed to outlive me. I'm 63, and he ought to have 15 years ahead of him.
hitbyambulance wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:50 pm

i totally get where you're coming from. but i don't get 'forever'.

after our last dog died 19 years ago, my dad never got another dog again.... and he's clearly worse off for it. he'd rather go through the deprivation and loneliness and resultant mental deterioration than ever having to go through another pet death. but if one thinks about it - one can rescue yet another animal from the shelter and give them a good home. i would gladly endure the grief and heartbreak from a longtime pet's death just to give another unwanted animal a chance at a good life for as long as they live (and also bumping up the queue for the next one in line to get the same chance.) it's a lot of pain for me, but it's worth it in the long run calculus for the animals themselves.
The key word there being "longtime." If Warren doesn't make it, I will have lost three cats (and a BIL) in the past 12 months. Two of the cats made it to 4, and Warren might not even make it to 1. That is more grief than I care to endure.

But your point is well taken. Forever unfolds one day at a time, and we seldom know what it will bring. After Iggy died, I went a year without a cat, and being at home alone every day drove me a little crazy. Post-covid, Wife will probably be at home with me every day, and that might drive me a little crazy, too.

If 2020 has any capacity for mercy, this might still turn out to be something treatable.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Alefroth »

Kraken wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:32 pm
He was supposed to outlive me. I'm 63, and he ought to have 15 years ahead of him.
I was going to say I hope he outlives you, but it seemed a tad insensitive =)

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

Alefroth wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:39 pm
Kraken wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:32 pm
He was supposed to outlive me. I'm 63, and he ought to have 15 years ahead of him.
I was going to say I hope he outlives you, but it seemed a tad insensitive =)
With no kids, becoming helpless or feeble-minded is not an option for me. I have no illusions about becoming fragile elderly.

Warren was meant to be my last cat. We named him after Zevon in part because the Z reflects an ending. My first cat was all-white, and Warren is all-white, so there's a satisfying bookend aspect, too.

I had this all figured out, and along came a kitty coronavirus.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Jeff V »

If pets bring you pleasure, there is no reason to disavow all of them because of some bad outcomes. I like cats, but in part because of several allergic friends and that we can't stop them from ripping up the furniture, our 2 cats are banished to the basement where they get occasional human contact when I have time to game. We'll not be refreshing cats after these are gone, and while we have a super friendly shiatsu (who nevertheless, killed her 2 prior owners), my wife wants a bigger dog (such as a lab).

I just don't have the energy for it. Maybe down the road when the kids can take responsibility.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by dbt1949 »

We used to have eight dogs. Now we're down to three. All olde. Hate to get another one but my wife wants a pup. All "her" dogs died and none will sleep with her now. So after this virus thing is over with we'll probably look at the shelter.
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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by hitbyambulance »

Kraken wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:32 pm
Alefroth wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:19 pm
Kraken wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:43 pm
If Warren dies, I am done with pets forever.
So, so, sorry Kraken. It's so hard not to feel this way.

Hope he recovers and is with you for a long time.
He was supposed to outlive me. I'm 63, and he ought to have 15 years ahead of him.
hitbyambulance wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:50 pm

i totally get where you're coming from. but i don't get 'forever'.

after our last dog died 19 years ago, my dad never got another dog again.... and he's clearly worse off for it. he'd rather go through the deprivation and loneliness and resultant mental deterioration than ever having to go through another pet death. but if one thinks about it - one can rescue yet another animal from the shelter and give them a good home. i would gladly endure the grief and heartbreak from a longtime pet's death just to give another unwanted animal a chance at a good life for as long as they live (and also bumping up the queue for the next one in line to get the same chance.) it's a lot of pain for me, but it's worth it in the long run calculus for the animals themselves.
The key word there being "longtime." If Warren doesn't make it, I will have lost three cats (and a BIL) in the past 12 months. Two of the cats made it to 4, and Warren might not even make it to 1. That is more grief than I care to endure.

But your point is well taken. Forever unfolds one day at a time, and we seldom know what it will bring. After Iggy died, I went a year without a cat, and being at home alone every day drove me a little crazy. Post-covid, Wife will probably be at home with me every day, and that might drive me a little crazy, too.

If 2020 has any capacity for mercy, this might still turn out to be something treatable.
as you were planning on keeping any new cats indoors, that will contribute to increased longetivity of their lifespan. did all recent cats' ends result (directly or indirectly) from being free to roam outdoors?

in any case, you should see this: https://abc7.com/cats-covid-coronavirus-cure/6253361/

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

hitbyambulance wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:49 am

as you were planning on keeping any new cats indoors, that will contribute to increased longetivity of their lifespan. did all recent cats' ends result (directly or indirectly) from being free to roam outdoors?

in any case, you should see this: https://abc7.com/cats-covid-coronavirus-cure/6253361/
Gus died indoors of a heart defect. Beery met a violent end by unknown means outdoors. Warren was probably born with his virus (he was born in a Puerto Rican feral colony).

Thanks for that link; I'll forward it to my vet, if appropriate. "...the 84-day treatment protocol which Amy estimates will cost between eight and ten-thousand dollars." :shock:

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by dbt1949 »

I'm sorry but even my wife isn't worth that much.
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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

My primary vet saw the test results and concurs with the urgent care vet that we are most likely going to lose Warren to FIP. We have an ultrasound scheduled for July 9 just to see if there's something else going on, but that's a hail Mary. If he deteriorates before then they'll try to get him in quicker.

She has heard of the black market drug but has no way of getting it and could lose her license for trying. Since there's no good scientific evidence for it, and it's so hellishly expensive, that's not going to enter the picture.

I was hoping she'd be able to offer some hope, but nope. We'll probably have to put the little guy down before July is out.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

Don't panic; this is a Good News post.

I spent a couple of days researching the black-market antiviral called (I think) GS with a bunch of numbers. It's a drug that Gilead was developing along with remdesivir and the two are nearly identical. They went with remdesivir, as you know, and dropped the other GS drug. GS is effective against FIP, but they don't want to introduce any cat data that could affect remdesivir's licensing, so they don't want any unnecessary testing of the GS line.

Chinese companies are manufacturing the GS, and it's definitely a cure for some FIP cats. This is not snake oil. It's crazy expensive, as I said earlier, but not necessarily as expensive as I'd heard. A cat that isn't critical can probably get thru treatment for under $5,000, and possibly as little as $3,000. Those number make me sad, but not as sad as dead Warren.

So after a somber talk me and Wife agree that we have to try it. I join the Facebook group FIP Warriors, which is the clearinghouse for GS in the US. (Fun trivia: It was founded by Newt Gingrich's sister, who turns out to be the admin with whom I'm corresponding.) I'm all set to choose among the dozen or so formulations available and start Warren on his possible cure. But then...

...Two days ago Warren got up and said "I'm not dead yet." He started eating better and became more alert. Today he was almost back to his old self. For the first time in a week, he asked for his harness and leash and we went for a little walk. He even tried to climb a tree, although he got tuckered out after the first few feet. He's obviously still not well, but he seems to be on the mend.

My Warriors contact says she has never heard of an FIP cat spontaneously rallying. It's usually a fast one-way trip unless one intervenes in time, and we're not treating Warren with anything at all right now. She's urging me to start the GS quickly, but now I'm questioning whether he has FIP. Remember that there's no test for it. I don't want to waste valuable time dithering like trump in a pandemic, but neither do I want to go charging down the chloroquinine road -- especially since it's a Chinese toll road. So I've decided to wait and watch, one day at a time. If he improves or holds steady, do nothing yet. If he declines, I can have a trial dose of GS in hand in about two days.


tl;dr -- Warren's been feeling better and I'm not sure he's under a death sentence anymore. Could still end badly -- this is 2020, after all -- but there's hope.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by hitbyambulance »

daily updates for the next few days if you can, as the situation has become weird....

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Zenn7 »

Hoping for some good news here. For your sake definitely, but I think we could all use to see/hear some good news and this would be very good news.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

hitbyambulance wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:48 pm
daily updates for the next few days if you can, as the situation has become weird....
I can do that. Thank you for caring.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Daehawk »

Is his FIP the wet or dry type? If he has it.
How is FIP diagnosed?
The diagnosis of wet form FIP is often fairly straightforward because of the classic yellow sticky fluid that accumulates. As previously mentioned, the dry form can mimic many other diseases and is often a diagnostic challenge. Normal blood tests may show changes that are suggestive of FIP, for example, increased protein in the blood, or changes to white cell counts, however these may also be seen with many other inflammatory diseases. The detection of coronavirus antibodies in the blood of a cat will only indicate if the cat has been in contact with the virus and does not differentiate between FECV and FIPV. A new test is being developed at the University of Sydney, which allows pathologists to see the virus within white blood cells in the body's tissue. This is considered to be the only accurate test for FIP, however this does require the collection of biopsy samples.
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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

If he has FIP it's of the dry variety. His abdomen isn't swollen. He has an ultrasound scheduled for 7/9 that should tell us more.

He's about the same today, maybe slightly improved. He came to wake me up this morning, which he hasn't been doing, and went out for a short walk at lunchtime. Still sleeping more than normal, still looking a little scruffy around the edges, and still breathing too shallow and fast. But he's eating well, and alert when he's awake. No vomiting or diarrhea and he seems happy enough.

If it were possible to do normal vet clinic visits I'd think about having our vet look him over before the ultrasound. Might be able to perk him up with an anti-inflammatory or something. I don't want to spend another $250 on another full blood panel unless necessary -- we haven't even paid for the last visit yet, which was nearly $400. Alas, all vets in the state are still only doing remote appointments, where they take the pet inside while you sit in your car and consult via phone before and after the exam. I find the lack of spontaneous conversation that one gets in a F2F visit very frustrating.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Daehawk »

Ya kinda strange. Here the vet is fully open as normal.
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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

MA got hit hard in the first Covid wave -- more than 100,000 known cases and 8,000 deaths. We've gotten that down to near 0 by cooperating with measures like that. Still don't have to like them, but I understand the need.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Alefroth »

Glad to hear there is a gleam of hope, and thank you for prefacing your post because I was.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

Sideways news this time: After a string of improving days, Warren had a couple of not-as-good days. He's still eating and eliminating fine. He still wants to take short walks outside. When he's awake he's mobile and alert...he's just rarely awake. He's skinny and weak and not thriving, but not in apparent distress. The more I read other people's stories in the FIP Warriors group, the more skeptical I am that he has FIP. He's sick, and whatever he has might not be any more forgiving than FIP, but he's not on the fast one-way slide that most of them describe. His ultrasound is still set for 7/9 and I don't think he needs an emergency visit before then. Diagnosing FIP for sure is a process of elimination that would cost $thousands, and my tolerance for those bills is limited, so at some point you take a leap of logic. But I have to say, the emergency response network being down for the holiday weekend makes me nervous.

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Re: Another sad pet story

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We're rooting for you bud!

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

Today he's more awake and alert than I've seen him in weeks -- pretty nearly normal.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kasey Chang »

After watching a lot of Bondi Vet and Vet on a Hill on Youtube, I see how crazy dedicated some pet parents are to their pets.
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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

Kasey Chang wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:37 pm
After watching a lot of Bondi Vet and Vet on a Hill on Youtube, I see how crazy dedicated some pet parents are to their pets.
The FIP Warriors group consists of people who have basically decided to spend $thousands to save their young cats with 84 daily injections. You can find some real emotional roller coasters there, as well as a lot of kickstarters by people who don't have $thousands.

The more I read, and with each day that goes by, the more I'm convinced that Warren doesn't have FIP. FIP cats virtually never improve without treatment.

(Yes, I'm a crazy cat lady.)

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by gilraen »

Kraken wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:07 am
Warren was probably born with his virus (he was born in a Puerto Rican feral colony).
Did you ever have him tested for FeLV?

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

gilraen wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:50 am
Kraken wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:07 am
Warren was probably born with his virus (he was born in a Puerto Rican feral colony).
Did you ever have him tested for FeLV?
Not yet. He's been vaccinated against it, but could be a horse-barn door situation.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by disarm »

Sorry about your losses Kraken...seems like a pretty rough year. Hopefully the latest can hang in there.

We came home late last night and our 11yo daughter walked into her room to find one of her guinea pigs dead...laying on its side, completely still. It was only about three years old and never showed signs of trouble, so this was a total surprise.

This is the first real loss of a pet for our kids, so it was pretty rough. I wrapped Bailey in a towel and she held her for a little bit, the other kids (6 and 11yo) cried and said their goodbyes, and we put her in a shoebox so everyone could go to sleep. First thing this morning, I dug a hole in the woods behind our house, and we buried her together. All the kids then spent the rest of the morning making a little stone path to our new pet cemetery and painted rocks to put at the grave site. I think they've handled it well overall. I have a feeling it's going to be a little harder on everyone when we lose our 15yo lab...lot more memories with him...

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Zenn7 »

Since you sound pretty confident it's not FIP, hope whatever it is is not life threatening and not crazy money to address!

Hang in there furry one, you got this!

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

Thanks Zenn. We're going to make his life as cat-awesome as we can for however long he has, whether it's 20 days or 20 years. We are not going to spend megabucks in the process. I am prepared to spend kilobucks.

Sunday was another good day. Since this is 2020 I don't hope for anything, but I do think he's going to be around for longer than we were led to believe.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

Warren's ultrasound turned up a "mass" about an inch long that might or might not be his adrenal gland. I have no idea what the implications of that are. Since he was being a trouper, the vet slipped a needle into his abdomen and took a sample.

She says there's a new blood test that can rule FIP in/out with high confidence, so I green-lighted that for another $150 (on top of today's $340 ultrasound). If it comes back negative, she'll send the fluid slides to a cytologist, which will be another $250. She doesn't think there's any danger in waiting on that, given his stability. I'd thought we ruled out FIP by his failure to deteriorate, but he's still running the same fever he had two weeks ago and hasn't gained any weight. He could just be fighting the coronavirus to a draw.

If it is FIP, I am likely to try those black-market Chinese drugs. I schooled the vet on what I've learned, and she agreed to coach me on giving injections if it comes to that. I'd rather opt for the pill form, but it costs about double the serum. Many people start with injections and then switch to pills if their cat doesn't tolerate the shots.

I asked if we can give him some kitty tylenol or something to bring down the fever, but he's only a few ounces over the 6 lb weight cutoff for that -- too risky. His temp is not life-threatening in itself. She did shoot him up with a general-purpose antibiotic. It's not likely to help, but it won't hurt, and we could get lucky.

Today's adventure wiped him out and he's back to sleeping all day. For those keeping score at home, I'm a little under $900 into this now and we still don't know what's wrong with him. As long as there's hope, I'll keep shoveling money in, but if it's FIP then veterinary science officially reverts to thoughts and prayers.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by dbt1949 »

I had a dog who had a heat stoke in two different summers and still lived lived okay for a couple of years. Crazy as a bat maybe but he enjoyed life and could get around on his own.
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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Daehawk »

Im always afraid to click this thread.

I dont know about cats but in our little dogs if they had a fever we gave them 1/4 a baby aspirin. This one is 3 lbs and I had to do that last year when he got a fever. Its what our vet said to do. Another was 8 lbs and I gave him 1/4 a day for a year because of his stroke / seizure tendency.

I cant tell you to do that so follow your own advice and info. Just stuff we've done over the decades. Benadryl doesn't have a fever reducer in it.
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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by gilraen »

Daehawk wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:29 pm
Im always afraid to click this thread.

I dont know about cats but in our little dogs if they had a fever we gave them 1/4 a baby aspirin. This one is 3 lbs and I had to do that last year when he got a fever. Its what our vet said to do. Another was 8 lbs and I gave him 1/4 a day for a year because of his stroke / seizure tendency.

I cant tell you to do that so follow your own advice and info. Just stuff we've done over the decades. Benadryl doesn't have a fever reducer in it.
Cats are very different from dogs in that respect. They can barely metabolize aspirin, and ibuprofen will outright kill them.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

Daehawk wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:29 pm
Im always afraid to click this thread.
I can assure you that, for now at least, Warren is not circling the drain. I know that can change overnight but have no reason to expect that it will. He had a pretty good day today.
gilraen wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:47 pm
Cats are very different from dogs in that respect. They can barely metabolize aspirin, and ibuprofen will outright kill them.
Yeah, no home remedies here.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kelric »

If it comes to it as you mentioned on FB, your buddy will have a few of my dollars to help. We put our not-quite geriatric cat down last Friday, so if we can help a youngin' along we'll do what we can.

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Kraken
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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

Kelric wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:27 pm
If it comes to it as you mentioned on FB, your buddy will have a few of my dollars to help. We put our not-quite geriatric cat down last Friday, so if we can help a youngin' along we'll do what we can.
"Project Warren" scam begins to take shape..."You think this is sad, you should hear about my other kittens."

Seriously, thanks, and if I have to kickstart you'll know about it.

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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kraken »

Warren's blood test came back negative for the coronavirus. That's the result we wanted. It comes with a big asterisk; whole-blood tests are prone to false negatives, and that's what we sent in (because he had no abdominal fluid to sample). Therefore, this test doesn't definitively rule out FIP. However, as I've been saying for weeks now, he's not declining as quickly and irreversibly as happens to FIP cats -- a typical FIP cat should be dead by now -- so those two data points together make FIP very unlikely...which is really really good news.

Next step is sending the cells that the vet drew from his mystery mass to a cytologist. We should have those results by the end of the week and, one hopes, a diagnosis. Best case would be a bacterial infection that can be cured with the right antibiotic. Worst case would be cancer (highly unlikely in such a young cat, but not impossible) or some rare genetic condition. IDK what happens if the results are inconclusive.

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Kasey Chang
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Re: Another sad pet story

Post by Kasey Chang »

Watching Bondi Vet, Supervet, and Campus Vet on Youtube taught me that vets are far less appreciated than people think... Esp. LARGE animal vets, who get the inglorious jobs like sticking your arm elbow deep into a cow's behind. Small animal vets who sees pets gets all the TV time because people like "pet saved from death" stories.
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