How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Peter Your Own Question
Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 30373
Experience:  16 years of experience in small animal internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
25161683
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. Peter is online now

My cat is 20 years old with renal failure and a large

Customer Question

Hi, My cat is 20 years old with renal failure and a large rapidly tumor around her neck which we want to leave alone. It appears to be causing her no problems as of yet on the eating/drinking breathing aspect of things.
She enjoys being stroked and she purrs but what is bothering me is she is just sleeping continually with no energy whatsoever. When putting her down to have some food she will enjoy a few mouthfuls then go back to her bed which happens 2 or 3 times a day. When i look at her she just seems so depressed and seems generally miserable and sleeps constantly i guess for some relief. The vet said if she's eating, drinking and breathing ok then to leave her. But i need some more opinions. It's really hard know what the right thing to do is. Is there any quality of life there?
I should note i haven't seen her go outside to the toilet for 2 days to pee or poo.
Also with her renal failure she used to drink quite a lot to accommodate the problem which kept her going and was definitely taking an interest in life. But now she seems to not have the enthusiasm to drink unless i put the bowl right under her and now i feel she is not drinking enough for her renal problem which is probably making things worse.
She is a beloved member of the family so losing her will be heartbreaking but i don't want to be selfish and keep alive for my own sake i want to do whats best for her and i don't want to do it too late. What's stopping me is she has had a few days like this before then bounced back but it seems this has gone on for longer. I would appreciate any advice. Thanks. Katie
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I'm Dr. Peter. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm reviewing your question now, and will post back with your reply ASAP.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you Dr. Peter
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for asking your question. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- How long since she became lethargic and lessen her water intake? Has she had blood work since these symptoms started?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She's been more lathargic then usual for roughly 3 days and no, no blood work since
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

1- Is she currently receiving any fluids at home?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, no fluids. Our vet basically said because there's not much she can do anymore because of her age the best thing to do would be to let her just live out the rest of her life as comfortable as possible until the time comes when she would need to be euthanized.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Please give me a few minutes to type your answer. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok take your time, thank you
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Friend, when a patient has chronic renal failure as you know they lose the ability to eliminate the waste products from the body via the kidneys. When the patient stops drinking and the kidney function decreases these waste product accumulate in the body making the patient very ill. In this case, it sounds like her kidneys are shutting down and she is accumulating a lot of waste products. So, at this point I would strongly recommend having her checked today by family veterinarian for blood work and IV fluids. If she is not responsive to treatment then the difficult decision should be made of considering putting her to sleep to keep her comfortable and not go through the symptoms of being in complete renal failure. I know this is a very difficult decision to make. But, it is a very noble decision when you consider that she will have a peaceful and pain free passing. I hope this will help you or guide you in making a decision. Please let me know if you have additional questions. I will be glad to discuss them with you.

Dr. Peter

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply, that's pretty much what i thought was going on, it's nice to hear it from another professional though. As i said before she has bounced back from these episodes and had a good week laying in the sunshine and taking an interest in life again. As you said i don't want it to get to an even worse stage, Do you think it's best not to wait for this to happen again?
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

I think a decision should be made based on her blood work and response to IV fluids. Or, you can even discuss with your vet to teach you how to give fluids at home under the skin (SQ fluids); this is done very easily and not very invasive. By giving her these fluids will help her kidneys flush the waste products.

Please reply if you have additional questions.

You're welcome.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i will definitely contact my vet about this. Sorry to be a pain! If i could just ask one more question about the SQ fluids. If we were to go ahead with these SQ fluids wouldn't this just be delaying the inevitable because eventually even the fluids wouldn't be able to help and the kidneys would shut down anyway. Would it be selfish of me to just delay it and keep her going for my own sake. Also with the cancer i just feel it wouldn't be fair to keep her going.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wouldn't the end result be the same and it would be better to put her out of her misery now?
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

You are right, the SQ fluids is not curative but at best may buy her some time. I don't think it is selfish in your part but maybe you just need a little more time. If you decided not to proceed with any more diagnostics or treatment it will also be okay to put her to sleep. I don't think any veterinarian would disagree with that decision.

Please reply if you have additional questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much Dr. Peter I think that is everything. You have reassured me a lot. It is nice to get a second opinion about these tough decisions. I will get in contact with my vet later today. Many Thanks. Katie
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Katie, I am glad I was here to help. I will have you in my thoughts and prayer tonight so that God can help you through this difficult decision with strength and peace.

You're welcome.

Dr. Peter and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Dr. Peter, I'm not sure if you are still there. I couldn't find information on the website about this. I was just wondering over the next day or so while i monitor my cat and i happen to have an additional question regarding the previous topic. Would i need to set up a new topic with an additional fee or just continue onto this chat. I'm new to this site so not sure how it works. Doesn't matter either way, was just curious. By the way this site is such a fantastic idea and appreciate the work you do here. Kind Regards, Katie
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also i have just noticed that the tumour is weeping. What would this mean? the vet said she was positive that its a cancerous tumour is this typically what would happen? Will this create even more problems? We will be going to the vets shortly. Sorry for all these questions, just curious to know your thoughts. Ultimately i know the end result of all of this will not be good. I just want to be prepared and do everything i can in her best interests.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Hi Katie, sorry for the delay in response I was offline. If you have additional questions pertaining to this case you can follow this thread and I will be glad to answer it at no additional charge. If you have a new question or problem then a new thread should be open.

As far as the tumor weeping, it is possible the cells are necrotic (dying off) and sometimes will become infected. If she is able to scratch the area she may need to have an ecollar (cone) placed to prevent self inflicted trauma. In addition, your vet will be able to give you chlorehexidine to flush and apply a topical antibiotic; this is not curative just palliative.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Dr. Peter, The vet visited the house today and we both agreed it was right time to put my cat down even though it was the hardest thing i've ever had to do. Thanks again so much for your advice.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Oh my, I am sorry. I know how difficult it is to make this decision; very noble in your part, God bless you. I will have you in my thoughts and prayers tonight. I am sorry for your loss. Please let me know if there is anything that I can help, thank you for the update.

You're welcome.

Dr. Peter