I am writing this today in hopes someone will benefit from my loss of my beloved 12 year old male tabby, chester. 6-8 months ago we saw very very small changes in chesters attitude and time spent in the house. We assumed it was because of a new male cat in the house that has just reached adolesense and was a bit cocky. In this same time frame chester was losing weight slowely, again thinking it was because of the second cat(won't eat with other cat present).
About 3 weeks ago he just stopped eating regularly and became very thin and weak quickly. About a week ago we took him to the vet because he became very distant with us. The vet took blood samples and noticed the yellowing of the ears and gums which we had not noticed. Vet came back and said he has jaundice and that we could do nothing but hope he pulls through with antibiotics and forced feeding. Shot him full of fluids and sent us home. We were devastated. But soon chester sprang back and started eating more, but not enough. He refused the force feeding but still managed to get some in him. 5 days passed and yesterday he was at the door when i woke so i let him out. Brought him back in about 15 minutes later. I laid him in his bed and left the room. My daughter rushed in and said chester isn't breathing. I ran to him and repositioned him and rubbed his chest, could feel heart but no breathing. He gasped repeatedly and postured many times and died in my arms in just a few mintutes. It broke my heart and iv'e done nothing but cry all day. He cried out and i could do nothing to help him. I was completely helpless to do anything, and i feel so guilty for it. We wrapped him in baby blankets and buried him in the backyard and planted snapdragons on his grave.
I looked up jaundice and related sicknesses and what i found made me feel like i had killed him. Come to find out this is common and very very treatable, but we let our ignorance of thinking "hes an old cat" and the vet saying "its probably his time" convince us that we could do nothing. I hate myself for just giving in and not fighting for my best friends life. The sickness didn't kill him, he starved to death. That had to have been so terrible for him.
Please don't make this same mistake. Get as much info as you can. And ALWAYS get a second opinion. You can put no money value on the loss that i feel. I'd give anything to have him back just for a day. And why i didn't look it up on the internet earlier, just boggles my mind. I have nothing but guilt left.
Jaundice can be caused by several things. It's a *symptom* -- not a disease. I did some searching because "starving to death" didn't make sense to me. Based on what I was able to find, the cause of your cat's jaundice was "fatty liver syndrome." Is that right? http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/liver2.html
***Edited By: NoDogYet on 5/23/2007 6:38:50 PM*** Reason: more info
Yes, jaundice was the symptom of the liver disease/infection. But the vet told us, he "most likely had cancer" and "it is probably his time". Which convinced us that it was his time. He had only been sick for a while, nothing serious until 3 weeks ago where it seemed he lost a big amount of weight. Later we find out that the low appetite is from the liver disease which causes nausea which in turn makes a cat not hungry and have problems with its nose. Cats that can't smell good are very finicky. When this happens the body realizes that it is starving, and changes into starvation mode. This mode can be very destructive if it last too long. All information the Vet kindly DID NOT tell us.
Simple force feeding with a tube and IV liquids and ammoxicillin and most are expected to make it through. The biggest problem in most of these cases is keeping the nutrition up in the cat so the immune sytem is strong and helps the antibiotics. Exactaly what the vet thought was a waste of time. I simply wish i would have read that earlier. At least give my cat a chance. He got no chance, nothing but a death sentence brought on by malnutrition. He starved to death and i'll never forget thinking that he wasn't in pain and the ignorance of thinking that it was his time. 12 years old isn't old and i really think he had a chance, but i unknowingly took that chance away, and it hurts.