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Linda Simmon
Linda Simmon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 7623
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
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We’re unsure whether he’s in pain and may need putting to

Customer Question

We’re unsure whether he’s in pain and may need putting to sleep
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What type of animal are we talking about?
Customer: cat
JA: Where does the cat seem to hurt? How long has this been going on?
Customer: he has what seems to be a tumour in his face, it’s swollen his eye and he has some breathing issues and nose bleeds, it’s been worsening over the last few months
JA: Does the cat ever go outside? Is he taking any medications?
Customer: yes he goes outside, no medications
JA: And what's the cat's name and age?
Customer: Molly, he’s 19
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Molly?
Customer: he has been hiding in places he usually wouldn’t, is off his food and seems very morose and confused, he’s no longer interested in his toys and cuddles in the way he usually is. We feel the dying process is perhaps underway but then he will suddenly go out for hours on end. We don’t know whether he’s well enough to continue on or not.
Submitted: 17 days ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 17 days ago.
Hello, you are through to Dr Linda, a UK based vet.I'm sorry to hear this and appreciate your concern for Molly. 

I agree he may be coming to the end of his life.

Breathing issues are always something we take seriously as when a cat can't get enough oxygen they can become very distressed.

Whether his growth it benign or malignant, its location means it could be life limiting, especially if already causing bleeding.

Cats often hide away when unwell and the fact he's doing this can indicate he's not up to socialising.

A reduced appetite in an older cat soon leads to dehydration and low blood sugar.

I'd book him in right away for a check up so a vet can discuss your concerns and help assess his quality of life.

If we feel he has more bad than good days and is going downhill, euthanasia may be in his best interest.

Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 17 days ago.

How does this all sound?

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
it sounds right, I guess we just don’t want to end his life when he suddenly has the energy to go out for hours at a time. Last night he was squatting to go to the toilet behind the TV, and he hasn’t gone to the toilet indoors since he was a kitten. Then he hid behind the sofa, and again he never ever does that. So we have moments of thinking he’s clearly about to pass on and then he just goes out walking around the neighbourhood! We took him to the vet a couple of months back when his nose bleeds and sneezing started and she said it was likely a tumour, but he was still enjoying his life as usual. It’s grown since then and one of his eyes now won’t shut as a result. We wonder about just waiting for it to get to a point where he clearly needs euthanising, but aren’t sure if that’s cruel.
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
This is the swelling a few weeks back but it’s worsened now
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 17 days ago.
Bless him, what a sweet boy.
I can certainly see the swelling.It's never easy deciding when to put a pet to sleep and they are often in a "grey" area of uncertainty for some time.While we don't want to let them go to soon, it's important we don't keep them here for longer than we should. I always say it's better they go a week too early than a day too late.This website has a good objective questionnaire which can help assess current quality of life:
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Thank you so much, this is really helpful. He scored 4 out of 12 which is confirming his quality of life is poor enough to justify euthanasia.We just wonder now, because he doesn’t like the vets, if he’s not eating and drinking and is just sleeping a lot is it kinder to let him die naturally at home? Or will that be painful for him and a visit to the vets would actually be kinder?
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
These are the strange sneezes he has, you can see there he’s looking pretty sad and slow
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 16 days ago.
No, I would never advocate allowing an animal to pass at home as, sadly, it tends to he a long drawn out process that occurs over many days or even weeks.Cats become progressively weak, confused and dehydrated. While some animals pass quickly in their sleep, this is the exception rather than the rule.I'd advise either a visit to the vets or a euthanasia at home given all you've said.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you I truly appreciate your advice, we’ll take him to the vets today.
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 16 days ago.
Not at all and wishing you all the very best.