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Rowdy (1985-2007)

For help and support with the passing of a pet. Sometimes we feel very alone. We're not alone.
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Barbara Boehmer
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Rowdy (1985-2007)

Post by Barbara Boehmer » Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:31 pm

My cat Rowdy died Thursday, January 11, 2007. She was 21-1/2 years old. I adopted her October 15, 1985 when she was not quite full grown. She had hyperthyroidism, kidney failure, non-regenerative anemia, something that was causing a high white blood cell count, and difficulty with her hind legs. She had strong pulses in her hind legs, but they were wobbly. Sometimes she walked and her hips fell to one side, then she dragged them. She was on tapazole for her hyperthyroidism, but it was stopped because of the kidney failure. She had been on clavamox antibiotic which caused some gastrointestinal bleeding and was on sucralfate for that for a while to fix that. The results of her latest blood test on January 9th were terrible (the normal ranges are in parentheses on the right):

BUN 102 (14-36)
CREATININE 4.9 (0.6-2.4)
PHOSPHORUS 14.1 (2.4-8.2)
WBC 42.4 (3.5-16)
RBC 2.8 (5.92-9.93)
HCT 14 (29-48)

She went downhill suddenly and rapidly. Just a month prior her HCT was 22. We had planned to start her on epogen when the HCT reached 16, but she died before a prescription could even be filled. She was receiving reglan anti-nausea syrup, subcutaneous lactated ringers solution, B12, aluminum hydroxide phosphorus binder, cosequin, baytril antibiotic, and pepcid antacid. I also had carpeted pet ramps, so that she could get to and from the couch more easily and special litter boxes with low entry points. I tried to coax her to eat Science Diet K/D canned cat food, but mostly she ate the Iam's canned and dry and canned Fancy Feast, in order to get her to eat something. She weighed only 4 pounds. I was also adding a little canned pumpkin to everybody's food. In the end, I was syringe feeding her several times per day. She had good quality of life almost to the end. She was still purring the morning of the day she died. As a younger cat she liked to climb a lot. As an older cat, her favorite thing was curling up on the couch next to me. I think she must have had a sudden heart attack or stroke.

I keep wondering what I might have done differently that might have been better. Did she die because we stopped the tapazole too late? Did she die because we stopped the tapazole? Would she have lived longer if she hadn't had the last blood test done when she didn't have much blood to spare? If we had tested her sooner, would we have been able to get her epogen and another course of atibiotics in time to help? Is there anything else that could have been done? I realize the answers to these questions won't help her, but it might help another cat with a similar problem. I lost another cat to hyperthyroidism and kidney failure two days later and still have another cat with kidney failure and highly regenerative anemia. I find myself looking at the others and wondering who is next.
Barbara Boehmer (not a veterinarian, just a fellow pet owner)

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Re: Rowdy (1985-2007)

Post by GabrielDeafBlindPupFamily » Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:11 am

oh, Barbara, I am so very sorry. Rowdy was so lucky to have YOU. You kept her alive all these years. All she cared about was you. I can tell you from experience, that the what-if's will kill you. But the questioning, the doubt will not change the outcome. Your love for Rowdy is what kept her alive so long, not doing or not doing something. She loved you so very much. To every season... Rowdy had such a long life filled with love. Your love. That is all that matters.
I am so very sorry.
Karen, Andy's ^i^ mom
Lethal White Aussies Rule!

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Re: Rowdy (1985-2007)

Post by critters » Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:27 am

Aw, sweet Rowdy! I'm sorry for your loss. What a long, loving life she had!!!

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Re: Rowdy (1985-2007)

Post by tessa » Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:47 am

oh my gosh...losing two within days. how terrible for you, i'm so sorry.
21 and a half. what a rich, long life though, or as they'd say down here; a good innings.

my thoughts are with you.

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Re: Rowdy (1985-2007)

Post by CarolC » Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:23 am

I read your message last night, but I didn't know how to reply. When you have had a cat that long, what can someone say to that. I don't think you should have questions about what more you could have done. The treatment you gave was complicated and labor intensive and extended life and improved quality of life for months. I think you should feel satisfaction, I hope someday you will.

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Re: Rowdy (1985-2007)

Post by BethT » Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:44 pm

Oh Barbara,

I am so, so sorry about the passing of both Rowdy and Gertie. How incredibly hard to lose one cat let alone two in such a short period of time.

To read all the things that you were doing for these cats was amazing. I hope that in time you will realize how much you did and that you have no reason to wonder what more you could have done. At the same time I understand why you question because I think we all do it. I am taking care of a cat that is in end stage cardiomyopathy and I wonder everyday if I am doing enough. I lost my cat Speck in July after her amputation surgery (because of her heart), now Cosmo is approaching the end of his life plus I have another cat with cardiomyopathy, so I too wonder who is next.

Again I am so sad for your loss.

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Re: Rowdy (1985-2007)

Post by LisainCAN » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:39 pm


I really am so sorry for both of your losses. All of our cats are special but when we give special care to an animal (like the care involved with a CRF cat), we feel their passing much more. Rowdy was blessed to have you and you did EVERYTHING you could. You are a role model for those of us caring for assisted-needs animals.


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Re: Rowdy (1985-2007)

Post by Shami's Aunt » Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:35 pm

Dear Barbara,

I'm so sorry about the loss of your cat. I know how hard it is to lose a pet that you have had a long time. Twenty-two years is a long time.

Please know that I understand your grief. This week, as you know, my sister had Shami put to sleep.

I had to put Baby aka Pookie to sleep. He was a really awesome cat. Never bit, you could take him to the vet and he wouldn't hiss or growl. He was a docile soul. I thought about him a lot while Garrie was making her decision. The vet helped me to keep him alive for a long as possible. He had Feline Leukemia. When I finally brought him to have him put to sleep, she was so nice and reassured me that he'd feel no pain. I hugged him and kissed him good bye while the vet put him to sleep. She even let me have a little time with him afterwards. She also didn't charge me. I wish I knew where she was. She left Pine Banks Animal Hospital back in 1998. I've called several times to find out where she went, but couldn't find her.

It's so hard when a pet you loved dies. It's just so heartbreaking. There yours for a time, and then you have to give them back to God, I guess.

I hope you are okay.


Toni aka Shami's Aunt

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