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Did I do the right thing?

Species: Cat
Breed: Black and White Tabb
Age: 11-15 years
Hello Dr. Marie,
I am grieving today as I had my 12 year old cat put down yesterday and I am second guessing myself on the decision I made. A couple of nights ago my cat woke me at 4am crying pitifully at the bottom of the stairs. She had apparently fell down the stairs and had wiped out her food and water tray. She had also apparently defecated on the carpet up stairs and vomited before falling. She could not stand but was trying. I carefully picked her up and laid her down in the living room floor. She would try to stand but would just flop over. She would only lay on her left side. I took her to the vet. No injuries were found. Reflexes normal. Pupils responsive although she seemed to have difficulty focusing. She would try to raise her head and look around but could not maintain this but a few seconds. The Vet said it could be a brain lesion or possibly Vestibular Syndrome. I later learned the difference between central and peripheral vestibular syndrome. It seemed she fit the Central form though I cannot be sure. The vet gave her a anti nausea shot. After 24 hours she still could not move off her left side. She would not eat drink, or urinate. She also was drooling. I took her back to the Vet who offered to express her bladder and give an IV but indicated the odds were that she would not recover. So I opted to have her put down which the Vet said was not a "wrong" decision. She was an older cat and I felt she was suffering. I keep thinking maybe she could have pulled through. But I know now it's too late. Still I feel terrible. If you have any comments it will be appreciated. It has been therapeutic just to write this. Thank you.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that you and Miss Kitty went through this.

I can't think of anything that this could have been that would have been treatable. This does not sound like a vestibular condition that would have gone away on its own.

I'm so sorry for your loss but it sounds like nothing could have been done.

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.