Hi all,

Sorry for the wall of text. TL;DR: My Boo Boo suddenly became very ill, and died from ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) of unknown etiology, and I am devastated and wracked with guilt.

I lost my kitty, Amy, 2 days ago, and I am struggling with unbelievable anguish and guilt. My husband and I called Amy Boo Boo because she had so many health problems over the course of her life, and because it just suited her. She was (it is SO hard to write was instead of IS!) the most adorable, grumpy little girl. I adored her. She had asthma and IBD, and was only 12, and was fine up until about a week ago, when her appetite became a bit off. But when, on Saturday, I offered her some Fancy Feast, she gobbled most of it right up. I thought maybe she was tired of her diet food, because Boo Boo was a chunky little thing, and we were trying to get her to lose weight. Why didn't I take her to the vet then???? I had severe bronchitis, and I was nursing another one of my cats who had been very ill, and I never dreamed that Boo Boo was very sick, but I will always wonder what would have happened if I had taken her in sooner.

Anyway, the next day, on Sunday, her appetite was still off, and I noticed she was breathing very rapidly. In to the emergency vet she went. At first they thought it was heart failure, then they thought it was an asthma exacerbation. She also had an extremely elevated glucose. They thought she had diabetes due to chronic steroid use (for both her asthma and her IBD) They talked about sending her home on both Monday and Tuesday, but I visited both days, and her breathing was NOT right - still very elevated. So they started antibiotics and put her in an oxygen cage.

Tuesday, they did a chest x ray, and it was very bad. Much worse than it had been when she was admitted. We were visiting, and the doctor told us she had ARDS, acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is almost always fatal. We agreed it was time to let her go. But she suddenly abruptly decompensated, she was open-mouth breathing and in distress. We had to euthanize her very quickly, and I didn't get a chance to properly say goodbye. It was a nightmare.

The doctor says we will probably never know what caused the ARDS, and I am wracked with guilt; I am sure I am somehow to blame, even though her excellent doctor says I am not. And I just can't believe my beautiful little girl is gone. It all happened so fast, and it is so unfair to her that she had to go through that. I wish it had been me, instead!

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Bump for Boo Boo

Has anyone ever had a pet who had ARDS?

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I am very sorry for your loss of your sweet, adorable Boo Boo. I've never had a pet with ARDS and it sounds very distressing. I'm sure you gave her a wonderful life and took very good care of her. I'm also sure it was not your fault. It can be hard caring for pets with health issues. My Tiger has asthma and other health issues. I wish he could tell me how he is feeling but I can only watch for signs of distress and do my best to give him a happy life.

My condolences,

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I am so sorry for your loss of Boo Boo. My kitty experienced appetite loss and then labored breathing but had lung cancer and went downhill fast so we had to end her suffering. I, too, thought she was being finicky and didn’t get her to the vet when I should have.  Cats are so good at hiding illness so don’t be do hard on yourself.  After all you were sick and nursing another sick cat.  Since ARDS is almost always fatal getting her to the vet earlier might not have changed the outcome.  She was a very sick kitty.  I lost my cat very fast, too.  The suddenness makes it so hard to believe.  I was in a daze for weeks not quite believing this had really happened; how could she be so sick and me not know it.  The guilt was overwhelming. Also, I am so sorry you didn’t get a proper goodbye which would have meant so much to you. I found this on the web about ARDS, hope it helps.  https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/acute-respiratory-distress-syndrome-shock-lung-in-cats


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Dear Kathy,

I am very, very sorry for your recent loss of Amy Boo Boo. She was such a looker and you can see a bit of her spunky personality in that wonderful photo of her. Thank you for sharing it with us here on the forum.

I am also very sorry for what your little girl and you and yours have had to endure loosing her. You can clearly see just how much you completely loved and adored Amy Boo Boo in all of your words. I'm glad that your paths crossed when they did all those years ago and that she was part of a loving, caring, compassionate, kind and adoring family. All cats should be so blessed.

Finally I am relieved that when the time came, you had the strength and courage to put Amy's needs first over your own, even if that meant you absorbing her pain and suffering onto yourself by ending hers. 

I had to have my own cat "Marmalade" down a little over 9 months ago. He was somewhere between 11 or 12. I was shocked to learn that the average lifespan of a cat is only 2 to 5 years in the wild or on the street. We extend their biological lives simply by taking them in. I'm grateful for the time that we were alloted with our beloved's.

Please know that you are not alone and we are with you in spirit and comradship, as is your Amy Boo Boo.

Kind regards & my sincerest condolences,
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Thank you all for your kind words. And I am so sorry each of you had reason to be here on this forum, that you lost your beloved babies. I wish none of us had to go through this. It helps to know that I am not alone in my grief. My husband doesn't understand why my pain is so very deep, and he gets angry with my guilt. So he is giving me a wide berth, which makes me feel alone. Bu more than anything, I am trapped in a pit of despair and anguish and unrelenting guilt. I miss her so incredibly much!
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