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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24468
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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How do you know it's time to take a feline leukemia cat to

Customer Question

How do you know it's time to take a feline leukemia cat to be put to sleep?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He's a little over a year old, he had xrays a couple of weeks ago that showed swollen lymphnodes in the stomach and chest, and blood tests indicated an infection in the liver. he has completed two weeks of antibiotics and is on prednisone. He stopped eating today, he doesn't seem to be having trouble breathing, but I can't tell if he is in pain, and I don't want him to suffer. He has lost a lot of weight. What do I look for to know when to put him down? I know it won't be long, but I just cannot tell if it is time?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

When his quality of life isn't acceptable to him or you. Anorexia of more than 3 days duration is a grave prognostic indicator and a key factor in your determination because it doesn't matter what the blood tests or X-rays show; if my patient stops eating for that length of time, I have to consider force feeding and providing supplemental fluids and electrolytes and I don't believe that kind of stress to be appropriate or kind for a terminal patient.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks Dr. Salkin, Ill let him enjoy sitting on the deck tomorrow and watching the birds...if he doesn't eat in the next couple of day, I will take him in to the vet to do what needs to be done. I do have to ask though if you have any suggestions I can try to see if he will eat?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

At this point I offer anything and everything that might be accepted, Susan. Strained meat babyfoods are often a hit. The high fat convalescent food Hill's Prescription Diet a/d is often well-accepted. Stinky fish such as tuna or sardines in oil can be offered. Fresh chicken might not be resisted. Milk, cream, and chicken broth provide both calories and help hydration status.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** tried everything else, except cream, which thankfully he is consuming at the moment. I know what to look for now to determine when to take him in for the last time. Again, thanks and have a nice evening.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

You're quite welcome.

I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.