Pokey was a very sweet Exotic Short Hair cat who was adopted by a couple from Petfinder. He was initially referred toOradellAnimalHospitalfor an internal medicine consultation which indicated that he have a CT scan at another imaging center. Sadly, the scan revealed an advanced stage left nasal tumor. Because Pokey’s caretaker wanted him to have a comfortable pain-free life at home until his final day and could not find any other hospital with a similar hospice service, the couple sought our CARES Program.
Pokey’s life expectancy was thought to be about 2 – 3 months; however, he lived 8 months after the first diagnosis of his illness. The CARES technicians visited him every one to two weeks and closely monitored Pokey’s vital signs, pain scores, nutrition, and his overall quality of life. Dr. Troyer also visited him about three times over the period and updated Pokey’s ICP (Individualized Care Plan) after each visit. We adjusted Pokey’s medications several times as his tumor grew bigger and his medical demands changed.
Difficult breathing was one of the expected clinical signs with Pokey’s medical condition, but we were also concerned about his brain involvement (function). We did not know the extent of the influence of the tumor on the brain. It was possible that he would seizure or his temperament would change for the worse (such as aggression). We prepared his caretaker by educating her and answering any questions she had. We also provided her with an emergency CARES kit, which was put together especially for Pokey. It included some medications Pokey could use in case of an emergency. Having such kit on hand eased his caretaker’s concerns.
Pokey deteriorated gradually over the eight months, but he had always been loved by his caretaker. His caretaker did everything she could do for him. He passed away at home as his caretaker wished. We believe he was happy until the end.