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Why did my cat die?

Species: Cat
Breed: calico
Age: 5-8 years
Hi Dr. Marie, I know you are probably overwhelmed but I pray you give me some piece of mind..last week my very vibrant, active 7 year old female cat became ill literally overnight..ironically, on the very day I put down my other 18 year old cat..she became lethergic, wouldn't eat and drank excessive amounts of water..I brought he to the vet the next morning and after a variety of blood tests and xray, the vet said my cat was very sick, with suspected pancreatites..her liver was affected and she had high sugars and had to be hospitalized for fliud therapy..the vet said she was diabetic and that we had to get her stable with insulin..after four days she showed great improvement and the vet let her come home with me needing to forcefeed her and give her insulin..after a couple of days home she seemed to be getting sick again..her breathing became strange..her eyes became glazed and I thought her sugas dropped so I immediatly gave her syrup but it didn't work..I rushed her to emergency but she died in my arms before I got there..autopsy revealed she died from toxic shock..they said her pancreas was bad for years..my problem is that I don't understand what happened and I don't know why she was only being treated for diabetes if she was sick enough to die..would a different treatment have helped? Or would it have prolonged the inevitable death? I'm so confused, distraught, and just need some clarity..please help ease my mind..


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I'm sorry to hear that you and Misty went through such a traumatic time.

This is a tough question to answer.

Problems with the pancreas can be very difficult to figure out. If we see a very sick cat with elevated pancreas enzymes and high blood sugar it can mean pancreatitis, diabetes, diabetic ketoacidosis, liver problems, or pancreatic cancer. Often, even with extensive tests like an ultrasound and xrays we can't tell the difference.

While I can't say for sure what happened to Misty, what I can tell you is that it sounds like there was nothing anyone could have done differently in her case. You definitely didn't miss anything. And it sounds like the vet did all of the right things.

I am so sorry for your loss. Please rest assured that you did the best you could for her.

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.