Monday I dropped her off, hoping it was either a really bad hairball or maybe she had eaten a frog or something. Something easy to fix. However, the doctor called and said there were a few possibilities: heart worms (which is more common in cats than most people think and is so not the same thing as heart worms in dogs, and is not usually treatable in cats), asthma (again, very common, very treatable), or pesticide poison (sometimes treatable, very expensive and a lot of surgeries). Naturally, I was hoping it was asthma. They decided to give her an IV, steroid shot, a diuretic, put her in an oxygen cage and a shot to help stabilize her lungs. She was basically in respiratory distress. They were trying to get her calm enough to get an X-Ray.
Finally, they were able to get an X-Ray and they realized that her lungs were COMPLETELY full of fluid. They are pretty certain that it was caused by heart worms. The only thing we could do is drive her to Dallas to see a specialist and have a $2100 surgery that the doctor said 99% chance she wouldn't survive anyway. I spoke with my husband, and after much coercing by the vet, we decided the most humane thing do is to put her down. She was severely suffering.
So, immediately, I left work and headed over. The vet didn't think she'd make the day and wanted us to come down there as soon as possible. I really felt awful and guilty about our decision. The vet said she'd keep her alive until I could get there to sign the papers and say goodbye. When I saw her, I knew I didn't have another choice but to put her down. I called the doctor in and they took Heidi back to put the IV back in and she passed. They didn't even put her down.
It's really sad because she had a really horrible death. We adopted Heidi back in February from an organization called H.O.P.E. She really was the best cat. She was so sweet and affectionate. Apparently heart worms are very different in cats than they are in dogs. It takes anywhere from 6 months to a year for heart worms to mature in a cat. The disease is very acute in cats and basically you find out one morning they are sick, and they next evening they usually pass. It's really painful for them. Their lungs fill with fluids and they get something similar to pneumonia and drown.
As sad as I am to see her go, I am glad that she didn't have to suffer any longer than necessary. So, we are now down to a family of six, me, the hubs, the pup, and three fish.