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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10160
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I have an 16 year old feline with FIV, she is minimally

Customer Question

I have an 16 year old feline with FIV, she is minimally mobile but I think it is do to her claws growing into the pads of her paws. She does eat and drink water, but lately has been dedicating anywhere. She no longer grooms at all, she eats, drinks water and sleeps. She still purrs when picked up. She will not let us trim her nails, she weighs about 2 lbs, is it time to let her go. She is a barn cat, also she is deaf.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry that Peanut Butter is having so many issues but it sounds as if she's one lucky cat to have lived as long as she has, especially given her FIV status.

It's certainly possible that overgrown nails could be responsible for her difficulty in walking but I think it's also possible that there may be more going on with her if she only weighs 2 pounds.

But, if the nails are the problem and she doesn't become too stressed out by a car ride and vet visit, they should be able to trim her nails without benefit of sedation....unless she's quite a wild woman at the vet's office. Then I'd worry that the stress would exacerbate or worsen any issues that she might have or possibly trigger ones which she's been able to mask or hide.

As to whether or not it's time to say goodbye to her, as you might imagine, this is a question I get asked a lot since this situation is one which many pet owners have to confront.

This is always a difficult topic and there isn't always a clear cut answer to this question in every case, unfortunately.
For me, it comes down to quality of life issues; this is the priority although often this is very subjective between individuals.

When contemplating this decision, I ask my owners to consider the following questions and would ask the same of you:

1. Does Peanut Butter have more good days than bad ones? Sometimes it helps to keep track of them on the calendar.
2. Does she still enjoy doing the things she used to enjoy doing (even if for shorter periods of time) or is she too painful, tired or weak to do so?
3. What is her attitude like? Is she lethargic/depressed or upbeat and enjoying interaction with the family?

I find that if you can answer these questions honestly and objectively, then it often helps make this difficult decision.

My personal opinion is that it's best to let our pets go before they deteriorate too far, while there's still some dignity to their lives but this is only my personal opinion. For me, quality of life trumps quantity.

I hope this helps provide some perspective on her situation although this is clearly a difficult one for you both. Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Deb