A Trip to the Emergency Vet

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Last night I went to bed early, around 7:15pm, woke up briefly at 10:30pm and noticed that my 15 year old cat, Timmy, was curled up beside me, sleeping and purring. Then I woke up around 12:25am to him having a seizure; it was so scary, and quite a violent one. I picked him and held up and tried to comfort him, it was probably less than 3 minutes but it felt a lot longer than that. He also lost control of his bladder during the seizure, but at the time, I didn't care if he was peeing all over me or the bed; I really thought at that moment I was losing him.

After it was done, he just cried. I called Penny, then I tried calling my vet, and other vets around town, but there was no one available for after hours, so we ended up to driving to an emergency vet about an hour away.

He was stable when they checked him over there, and his vital signs were good. They had to keep him at least overnight, and they did let me go back to see him before we left. We got back into town around 5:30am.

I talked on the phone with the vet this morning; she wants to observe him a while longer, so I won't be picking him up til 1pm tomorrow. The good news is, so far he has had no more seizures, his neuro exam and reflexes were normal, and he can see. We still don't know what is wrong, but I was told that seizures in cats his age can mean a brain tumor.

The hard part of all this is that I cannot afford all the tests that he would need; my bill is already going to be over $3000, and an ultrasound would be at least $1000, and a CT scan would be $2000. I've given the ok for more blood work, but I cannot afford much more, and that makes me feel like such a low person, having to make decisions about my cat's life based on money. But they do not bill; if it was something I could pay off in time, that would different, but I cannot even afford to put much more on a credit card. And looking at quality of life, I don't want to put him through a bunch of test only to find out he will have a poor prognosis; that is not something I would even want done on myself. Having terminal cancer myself, I want to spare him the misery I've had to live with.

He was fine before all this started last night, I had no warning signs at all that anything was wrong with him. The vet will be calling me back this afternoon with the rest of his test results.

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  • GABY1948
    Always praying hard anyway but we will double up
    1815 days ago
    Sending prayers for Timmie and his Mom. emoticon
    1817 days ago
    Dear Shari,
    I am so sorry to hear this news about Timmy, poor love! You are by no means imaginable a low person to consider finances, and as others have said, scans may not reveal anything helpful. I hope like the others here that it is a one-off episode and everything will be alright, and I also believe Timmy knows how much you love him. Life is challenging enough as it is, and I know this is stressful for you too, so please look after yourself as best as you can. Sending prayers and big hugs for you and Timmy.
    Much love,

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1817 days ago
    I am sorry about your cat's problems. I had a dog that had bladder cancer (many years ago, when I was still working) she had surgery and then chemo to treat the cancer. But when she was in for a check up, it recurred. It was a hard decision to make to not have her have more treatment. It was a very hard decision. Remember to take care of yourself.
    1817 days ago
    Shari, my dog had a one-time seizure when she was older, and it never happened again. We only did blood work to investigate, and nothing showed up. We too couldn't afford anything more than that. It sometimes happens that it's just a one-time thing. Hope it's the same with you.

    Cristina xo
    1817 days ago
  • FLRED12
    I am so sorry you are having to make such decisions. This is such a hard thing to go through. emoticon
    1818 days ago
    1818 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    emoticon Have just gone through something similar with our 15 year-old dog.
    1818 days ago

    It is so hard to deal with aging pets. I hope Timmy is OK.

    1818 days ago
    This is always difficult - it doesn't make you a bad person that money is factoring into your decision, it just makes you realistic. If your cat was 2 or 3 years old you might feel differently about spending the money. Because your cat has already lived a full life you know no matter HOW much money you spend, your cat has more days behind him than he has ahead. And you want the quality of those days to be good ones, not filled with pain or getting tests and being prodded by strangers.

    Hopefully this episode will pass without any aftereffects, but WHATEVER happens, you have been a good "mom" to your cat!
    1818 days ago
  • UNICORN212
    Shari - I had a very geriatric dog (15+), a very geriatric cat (15+), a cancer dog, a kidney failure dog and an epileptic dog. Based on my experience, a CT scan, MRI, or US will not give you much info that will change anything. If there is a tumor anywhere, at his age, surgery would be difficult (and possibly impossible) and expensive. So a MRI, CT or US will not be of much benefit. Make sure thyroid levels have been checked. If low (even if in normal range but low) see if the vet will add some thyroid meds to improve quality of life.

    My Pepper started having seizures and there is nothing obviously wrong - normal exam, normal blood. We opt to wait and see rather than go through a lot of stuff. It is a choice you can make. Do what is best for you and your situation. As much as we love them, we can not do miracles.
    1818 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    So hard... I would focus on him, not the $$,, they both come full circle: you do not want him to be tested ad nauseum and be scared and uncomfortable. Like you said, thinking of yourself and what decisions you need to make for yourself, keep that in mind for Timmy. IF the vet does not find anything with the lab work, choices remain more tests or bring him home and let nature take its' course.. Remember, he will never know if you have to let him go via the vet.. all he knows is you and loving him..
    1818 days ago
    Hoping all is better and than you will be able to make the best decision for you and for him. HUGS!
    1818 days ago
    emoticon I know how hard this is. Between the finances and the love for your pet, and the's so awful. Do the best you can, and shower him with your love.

    Find comfort in the fact that he knows you love him and that his life so far has been long and happy.

    Owning pets is so bittersweet, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. They do leave a hole in your heart, but the love from them is so worth it, and they do know they were loved by us.
    1818 days ago
    Oh, Shari, this is so hard. I hope that Timmy's condition improves and I totally agree with the decision to not put him through tests that affect his quality of life. If you decide the tests would be a good thing, you might see if a local cat rescue organization can help with the costs. Some have funds for this. Hugs to both you and Timmy.

    1818 days ago
    Shari, I've been in this position with two past cats so I know the torment of the situation. You are very wise to not want to put him through the pain of tests. I feel the same way. Will keep you in my thoughts during this stressful time. I know it's very tough.
    1818 days ago
    1818 days ago
    So very sorry to hear about Timmy,and you are not low because of money.
    It is such a shame the cost these days of taking a pet to a Vet,the cost is
    just unrealistic.They wonder WHY people won't adopt pets or they take
    them to the Humane Society,it IS because people can not afford it this day
    and time.It is hard enough for humans.Hugs,prayers and blessings! emoticon
    1818 days ago
    Hugs for your sad night. I love cats. Hugs for Timmy.
    He loves you.
    emoticon emoticon
    1818 days ago
    I'm so sorry for both you and your dear cat, but you know, 15 years of living good is some comfort. While you may need to say "goodbye" just remember the good times your dear, Timmy, had.....I had to put down an 18 year old dog a few years ago. There is still a hole in my heart and always will be, but I know and she knows she was loved....I cling to that!
    1818 days ago
    Oh Shari, I am so sorry that this happened. Please don't call yourself a low person due to lack of money for the expensive tests. You are smart to consider his quality of life at the age of 15. It doesn't make it any easier. You know you will be guided by your heart as to what is best. Perhaps this was a one time episode. I pray that it was and that he'll be alright. You are a wonderful cat mom, so please don't put yourself down. Believe me, I know what you are going through. Prayers are being said for a clear decision to do what's best depending on the test results.
    1818 days ago
    Hugs, such a hard thing to go through!
    1818 days ago
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