At 8 years old my indoor male cat Pixel had a scratch on his side which he had licked into a bit of a state. The vet prescribed Fuciderm Gel and a collar to stop him licking it. I wan't happy giving Pixel chemicals, particularly since it wasn't healing so stopped using it after a few days and treated it with organic extra virgin olive oil, and it healed up well. I read that EVO was safe for cats and was used to de-flea kittens so knew that it would be fine. About a month afterwards Pixel had a crisis, constantly drinking and peeing, as if he'd been poisoned and was diagnosed with chronic renal failure, and was put on a low protein, dry biscuit diet. I wondered if the Fuciderm Gel was to blame. He was fine for a year, with me constantly ensuring he drank enough water and only ate the specialist diet (Purina NF). Then he had his annual flu jab and a few weeks later had another crisis, being sick and pooping in the corridor (which he never did) and was rushed to the vet. I wondered if this was caused by the flu jab. His temperature was high and I was told he may have some sort of infection. He was put on a drip and strong antibiotics, they tried three different types and his temperature was fluctuating between normal and the high end of normal. He stayed in hospital for three nights, I want in to see him after the second night and I was told his blood tests showed his toxicity levels had doubled, the vet said if we kept him there another night it might make a difference. The next day the vet said he wan't responding, hadn't eaten or peed for 24 hours and I should consider euthanasia. I was devastated, he looked fine, his coat was lovely, eyes bright, he was looking around at the other cats and trying to get out of his cage. I had to persuade them to let me take him home for a night and they only agreed on the understanding that I brought him back the next afternoon, with the intention of euthanasia - they would do one more blood test and decide what to do from there. They took him off all medication and gave him a lot of subcutaneous fluids and we went home. Immediately he got in the door he rolled around on the floor as if to say "thank goodness I'm home" and went to his box and peed, I gave him some watery flakes of tuna and he ate three small bowls of that, he was hungry. He went to his favourite blankie and slept on and off, slept on my chest all night and seemed a lot better in the morning, was livelier. When I took him back to the vet they took the blood test but said all his levels were very high and he would go downhill very rapidly once the fluids were gone. I asked if they could show me how to administer fluids and they said it was something that wouldn't be kind, would end up being sore for him and wasn't pleasant having to go around with fluids under the skin. I asked how long he had before symptoms started to show and they said within hours or at least within the next couple of days, he wouldn't be comfortable as the toxins built up further, could develop mouth ulcers and have fits, and would suffer. I felt backed into a corner really, although they were saying it was my choice, they were really giving me no choice unless I deliberately wanted Pixel to suffer, so I agreed to euthanasia. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. They took him away and were ages and ages - I thought they were going to come back and tell me they'd made a mistake but they came back and told me they had tried to put a catheter into his paw but were unable to do so because he'd had so many needles in him from the drips and antibiotics, so tried his other paw and the veins were disintegrating. So they bandaged his paws and told me they were going to give him a sedative and then put a needle into his liver. So traumatised I didn't know what to do or say, except to wait, I was seated on a chair with his blankie on my front, they brought him in and put him on me and he was already going, was unsteady and then slumped down on my front while I said soothing things to him. He was breathing, seemed asleep. He was pronounced sedated enough, and an injection was given to him, then they left the room for a while for me to say goodbye, came back in and listened on a stethoscope and told me he was gone. I can't believe that I took a lively cat back to the vet, he was jumping off the counter and exploring the room, had been eating/drinking and peeing, had a shiny coat and alert eyes, and I had been persuaded that it would be kind to end his life, simply on the result of a blood test. I can't help feeling that I may have been given the wrong advice. Can you give me any insight?
Hello Shantal, yes I would like to hear from one of the experts and I'm happy to continue to wait.
Thank you Dr Bruce, I think given the information I was provided with at the time, I had no choice but to go ahead, as I thought there was no hope for Pixel. However if my vet had hinted in any way that there was a chance that my lovely Pixel may have recovered enough to live on, I would have kept him on fluids for any amount of time longer. I'm heartbroken that I wasn't given the full picture. Thank you for taking the time to respond so fully. Best wishes.
Regarding the use of Fuciderm Gel and the flu vaccine, could you say whether these would have caused kidney damage?
Thank you, at least I can discount my allowing the use of those from the equation. I lie awake at night wishing for a time machine myself but you're right, I will know in future not to cave in to pressure and to go with my gut instinct. I wish I had put more faith in Pixel rather than those who didn't know him as a family member.