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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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Our cat is 16 years old and seems to have taken a down

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Hi, our cat is 16 years old and seems to have taken a down turn, she is off her food, very skinny, but with a noticeable swollen front paw and leg . Her breathing is fast and shallow and she rests very awkwardly , sometimes resting her head against a wall. She is fussy though , still purring and able to get about. She always hated trips to the vet, I am loathe to take her down , please help, thanks Simon Clarke
Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with cats and dogs. I'm sorry to hear that Jasper has been ill - it sounds like she is very sick. With older cats we are really looking to maximize their quality of life for as long as possible. There always comes a point at which we are no longer able to keep them comfortable. I'm concerned that Jasper is in discomfort based on your description of her breathing pattern, her increase in fussiness, and her resting against a wall rather than laying down. That swelling in her leg is also worrisome. Cancer would be your most likely culprit for a large mass on a cat at this age. While your vet isn't likely to be able to cure something like cancer, they can help you decide what can and should be done to keep her comfortable, if anything. From your description it sounds to me like Jasper is suffering. I know that it's stressful for both of you to make the trip to the vet, however as her advocate I think that it's very important that she be checked over to see if there's anything that can be done to ease her suffering. I know that this is probably not what you were hoping to hear, but I owe it to Jasper to be completely honest. Depending on what is happening, your vet may broach the subject of euthanasia with you. I know it's not an easy one to talk about, but if we have a pet that is terminal and suffering, we owe it to them to consider giving them a dignified end free from further suffering. Here are a couple of links to help you place an objective number on a very subjective subject: Please let me know what questions I can answer for you.~Dr. Sara ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------My goal is to provide you with the most complete and accurate “five star” answer. If my answer isn’t what you were expecting, it’s incomplete, or you have more questions PLEASE REPLY to let me know what information you are looking for BEFORE giving me a negative rating! If my answer has been helpful to you, please show me by giving me a favorable rating. Thank you so much :)
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