Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Toby isn't Going to Make It

He is experiencing multiple organ failure. The vet believes he was born with many defects and problems, including a liver that does not process food well enough to give enough nutrition to grow normally, hence his diminutive size for his age. He does not have Felk or FIV, but she said it could be a display of non effusive FIP although it would be hard to tell until a necropsy. But, she does believe he was born with these problems, that have compounded, as his body tries to grow, and that they are many and that he really never had a chance.

Toby isn't coming home today. He has died.

It is very very sad. When he came back after being adopted with his mom, he was not active and he had the tail twitching thing going. I thought maybe he was just stressed out and getting used to things here, and needed some time to adjust. There is nothing that could have been done for him then either, however. It's one of those things.

When he first came back, he would lick a cinder block I use to hold up something. I could not keep him from licking it. None of the other cats showed any interest in it. I thought then he must have some deficiency and finally had to remove the cinder block from the house. I looked up that behavior today and found this:

The excessive licking of metal, walls and other
> objects has been associated with a
> number of conditions, including diabetes mellitus,
> hyperadrenocorticism, liver disorders,
> hyperthyroidism (cats), hypothyroidism (dogs),
> kidney failure, seizure activity and
> gastrointestinal
> disorders. Given the number of conditions that
> this behavior can occur in conjunction with, it
> may be
> just an unusual habit or it may be that it is a
> non-specific response to a variety of illnesses.
> To the
> best of my ability to research this, there is no
> vitamin or mineral deficiency that consistently
> produces
> this clinical sign

Actually, upon necropsy, it was determined Toby's pancreas was tiny and withered, as if it had been consumed. I asked the vet what would cause this and she thought maybe an autoimmune disease, like Lupus. But I looked it up, and this is usually caused by chronic pancreatitis, which is terribly painful. The scarring and inflammation prevents the digestive enzymes from entering the small intestine so instead, they digest the pancreas itself and spill into the abdominal cavity. It is a horrible horrible disease, of unknown origin in cats, and may be caused by an autoimmune ailment like Lupus.

In dogs, it is usually caused by over eating of fatty foods and age. If I had known his body had disgested his pancreas, I would have put him out of his misery instantly. My only solace is that his blood sugar and electrolites were so out of whack that he probably had no idea what was going on at all.

The only cats I've ever known to get this have had cancer or FIV. Hopi had this in the end. She died of Lymphoma that affected her liver, stomach, pancreas and small intestine. They could not even detect at the very end by X-ray or bloodwork, only with an exploratory surgery. They did not do an extended necropsy to see if Toby had cancer.


  1. Jody, I am so sorry to hear about Toby. It is so difficult to lose any of these cats that we care so deeply for. I've always found losing the young ones even worse because they never had a chance to realize their full potential.

    You went above and beyond for little Toby. Certainly more than you could financially, and way more than whoever abandoned his mom & allowed her to get pregnant in the first place.

    My heart goes out to you.

  2. So sad. His last days were as a much loved little cat, and that is wonderful. He's over the Rainbow bridge, running and playing and happy. It's Jody who was left behind, grieving for him.


  3. My word. Such a sad story for the poor fellow. But, from his pictures, he was a beautiful cat. I hope you don't forget him, for to do so would be a tragic act.

    Best Wishes,

  4. Thank you all. I am very devastated. I wanted him to make it.

  5. I know-I understand-I feel-a fuzzy blessing that ended too soon-Jody, he wouldn't have know any love it wasn't for you....

    Take care,

  6. I'm sorry Jody, I am still grieving for my beloved Toony who died last month so I know how you are feeling. Toony loved kittens so maybe he'll find Toby and give him some love.

  7. As you already know I am so so sorry about Toby...and I agree with the others - he experienced love and a family with you and the cats, rather than an uncertain life outside which probably would have ended his little life that much earlier. He looked like the sweetest little kitten and I wish I could have met him. I'll send up a request to my Ginger to meet him on rainbow bridge.

  8. I'm so sorry to hear about little Toby - obviously such a sweet little cat. I'm just so thankful that he got to spend his short life with someone like you instead of in the uncertainty of the outdoors, where is end would surely not have been so comfortable.
    Thinking of you - Avery

  9. I'm so sorry Jody, at least he knew some kind of comfort before he went. The last kitten that suffered from "failure to thrive" made hubby wonder so he actually paid for a necropsy...yeah, just as we often suspected, he had lots of congenital defects including a narrow intestine, a defective liver and a heart defect that would have killed him even without the other problems. *sigh* It's a shame that he had to be born to a mom who was dumped like that. As Fugly often says "asshats". ~Donna in Wisconsin

  10. Jody,
    I am sobbing for you and little Toby. You gave him so much love in his short little life and he knew he was loved, poor little baby. My heart is breaking for you.

  11. I am so sorry to hear about Toby! Poor little guy! I'd like to read those articles and see where tey come from and what the science is behind this. I do not believe in coincideces but the scientist in me also likes to check it out. I DO elieve we are slowly killing our planet and ultimately our animals and oursevles with our chemicals and nuclear plants and wars! (not just as war happens but for future generations. ie they can say so many people died at Heroshima but one will NEVER really be able to calculate the ineviable fallout from throughout the world. )every baby boomer, all of us) has strontium 90 in our teeth - that was a project undertaken by various women's groups across the world and sanctioned by the UN. The findings are all quite universal.Same goes for the Three Mile Island, Pa plant and I wonder about certain chocolate bars - tho I understand they are called candy bars in the US (g).And the one in the Ukraine and the one in the Urals about which sev books are written but you won't read it on the front pages!. I treat the kids who should not have cancer - and there are more children with such illnesses (per capita) when there really, gievn all we have learned, should be less!!! Makes one think long and hard! I am sad Toby had to be a victim of this!

    I hasten to note I am no conspiracy theorist and many of my fellow physocian concur with me. We see it. We have no choice but to wonder and an ethocal dury to ASK questions!!

    take care!!!