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Time for euthanasia?

Species: Cat
Breed: tabby
Age: More than 15 ye
My 19 year old cat has been ill for some time. For many years I have had to help him go the toilet due to constipation, I also think he suffers from kidney problems. 5 days ago he stopped eating/drinking. He went very thin and on several occasions I thought he had died. He just laid still all day sleeping. He also had slight mucus from one nostril with spots of blood. On the 6th day, he's started showing signs of wanting to eat and drink and seems to be getting better, although he does still sleep all day. When he walks he is quite wobbly (could be due to not eating), however he is now dragging his back right leg. He cannot stand on the ball of his foot properly and almost drags/limps on this leg. I'm now very confused as I was ready to have him euthanized, however now he's sitting by his food bowl waiting to be fed. I don't know what's happened to him and how he's managed to come back from what seemed to be the brink of death.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry to hear that Sushi is unwell. I actually do have this situation happen quite often where an elderly cat is acting like it is time for euthanasia and then suddenly gets a spurt of energy that makes you second guess your decision. The way I look at it, cats have a huge desire to fight for life. They will do all they can to try to survive and this type of behavior is not uncommon.

The symptoms that you have described with Sushi sound serious. It does really sound like it is time for euthanasia. There are a number of possible reasons for his symptoms, but I can't think of anything that could be easily fixed.

The way I see it, you have two choices. The first would be to have your vet examine him and give their opinion. They would likely do some blood tests to see if they can determine the problem. The second would be euthanasia.

Even though Sushi has a bit of an appetite today I don't think it is fair to let him go on for much longer. It really does sound like he is very unwell.

I hope this helps with your decision making. Please let me know if you have more questions.

Dr. Marie.


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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.