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Sucky's neurological damage

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Sucky's neurological damage

Postby Sucky's mom » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:10 am

My cat, Sucky, had a really bad reaction to Ivermectin and we nearly lost him. It has been a week and we just got him home from the vet yesterday. He has to be syringe fed water and food and is laying on potty pads as he isn't able to walk and get in and out of a litter box. For the most part he just lays but he will lift his head and try to walk just a couple of times a day. He doesn't appear to recognize me yet. When he attempts to walk it is only a few steps then he wobbles and falls.

I know it's going to take some time, possibly lots of time, for him to be a functioning cat again. My question is what can I do if anything for therapy to get him walking? I've purchased a harness and thought perhaps I could assist him with standing upright by holding the harness. How often and for how long of a time period would this type of therapy be useful? Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

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Re: Sucky's neurological damage

Postby critters » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:34 am

:slant: If he's willing, hydrotherapy (swimming) tends to help a lot, but most cats aren't known for liking water. :twisted:

As for the harness walking, I'd go slowly and let him call the shots. Another possibility is a 4-wheeled walker/wheelchair (quad cart). You can make one (or more, as you, and he, adapt) out of PVC pretty easily. Cats don't necessarily like them, either, but it can be a convenient way for them to get a little standing practice. PVC is also cheap and easy to use, since he may well improve out of it quickly.
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Re: Sucky's neurological damage

Postby Sucky's mom » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:14 am

Thanks for responding. Yes I did see the pvc walker cart online. It would be worth it if this malady ends up being long term. When he decides to take a walk he just walks with no purpose but I have the harness attached and a long neck scarf of mine that I wrap around his back quarters. I let him go pretty much where he will and when he will but when he starts to tire I put him down for a rest. I wrapped him in a blanket this morning and walked outside with him. He actually seemed to respond and lift his head. I could see him sniffing the air. For the most part his eyes are bright but he doesn't seem to recognize me or the other animals in the house. A step at a time.
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Re: Sucky's neurological damage

Postby CarolC » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:00 pm

This article is not about ivermectin toxicity, but the ideas in it may help.

https://user.xmission.com/~emailbox/max.htm

Here is another kitty that reminds me of your situation.

http://www.alittletlc.com/Mimosa.html

I would really recommend you talk to the vet about giving him sub-Q fluids at home? They were probably doing that while he was hospitalized. I read one time that even with the best of intentions, you really can't get enough fluids into a cat by syringing water into the mouth. For one thing it takes a long time with a syringe, it may not all go in, and the amount on water in a syringe is less than it looks like. Sub-Q fluids are easy to do, especially with a cat who is not active, as your kitty is not right now.

http://www.weirdstuffwemake.com/weird/s ... juice.html

This post shows an alternative method where you can give the fluids more quickly with less fuss using large syringes instead of a drip bag.

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=18192&p=93795#p93780

Here is an article that helps you identify signs of dehydration in cats. If you decide you are not getting enough fluids into him, another option is to take him back to the vet several times a week for another dose of fluids, but doing it at home will be cheaper.

http://www.adventurecats.org/gear-safet ... tion-cats/
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Re: Sucky's neurological damage

Postby BendyMom » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:43 pm

ivermectin is neurotoxic and the safety window is very narrow for cats. I'm very sorry your cat has had toxicity from it.

I see CarolC (the link lady) posted a link to my girl Mimosa's page. She was the most severely brain damaged cat I had and at first coudl not stand, see or hear (hers was an anesthesia reaction).

I woudl start by just encouraging him to stand, adjusting his legs to help him stay upright, for a minute or so at a time a few times a day (iof possible). Massage his toes and legs and move them them while he is lying down. This helps the brain remap them, reteaching the brain where they are. Thsi was taught to me by a friend of my who was a neuropsychologist and rehabbed people with non-traumatic brain injuries (chemical injuries like yours and like my girl mimosa). He told me the brain can rewire itself , the younger the patient the better the outcome. Mimosa was a kitten, but adults can recover, too.

When Mimosa had a little balance, I taught her to walk again by moving her legs, one at a time, to make her walk. she hated it and cussed allt eh way but she learned to walk. I used throw ugs with different textures so she coudl grip with her toes, and also to herlp her know "where" she was. She learned teh texture of the last rug and woudl hurry up and walk faster for that one, she knew there were treas at the end.

If you see "pecking" behavior when your kitty tries to eat, or sort of stuttered, repeated motion, that is called intention temors. It is them trying to move in a direction but not having good control, it may or may not get better with time. Mimosa did that a lot with her head, and my boy Ghiradelli does that with his right front leg/foot when he tries to swat something. it looks strange when you aren't used to it and don't know what it is.

This will take time, try to be patient. Mimosa's page has a link to a log I kept of her progress.

SubQ fluids are easy to do yourself and one of the best things you can learn to care for your cat. I use a 60ml syringe, it's just easier for me because my other cats think the lines aer tempting to swat at, I also find that for me it goes faster. If my hands aer having a bad day I will use a line, always good to know more than one technique.

Please keep us updated.
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Re: Sucky's neurological damage

Postby Sucky's mom » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:25 am

Thanks to everyone that has responded. It's important to me to read as much as I can about Sucky's condition and make comparisons to other situations. It's also important as his caregiver to have people that understand what I'm dealing with. I'm very tired! I can say there has been some improvement. I've taken him outside, wrapped in a blanket, and I've seen him sniff the air and react to the sound and flurries of the birds at the feeder. We don't live real close to the road but he can hear the cars and has turned his head to follow the sound as they pass.

I've moved him to the bathroom and have lined the floor with rugs and potty pads. He is getting stronger walking but still seems to walk with no purpose, running into walls and corners before finally deciding to change direction to make forward momentum again.

I was concerned that he hadn't peed but found him a little bit ago laying in a puddle and he was as limp as a noodle. It gave me a scare as I thought he had died and passed his urine then, but he started moving and walking around the room a little while after. Maybe he was embarrassed or it was such a relief that he was overjoyed and passed out?

I've also transferred his feedings from a syringe to a small pet bottle with a larger hole cut on the nipple. Although he doesn't seem to have sucking reactions he is able to lick and I just let it dribble into his mouth. I'm hoping the sucking reflex will return. His name is Sucky because I nursed him and his brother from about 10 days old with pet bottles. He would fill up on his milk but wanted to stay with the bottle in his mouth and just be held. This transpired into sucking on my fingers for comfort and was a trait that he continued all of his life. He is three years old but each night he would suck on my fingers at bed time or when he was tired and thus his name, Sucky.

Thanks again for being such a great support group.


:thankyou: :angel:
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Re: Sucky's neurological damage

Postby CarolC » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:55 am

:morning:
It's not surprising if you are tired. Partly it's a lot of stress and worry, and also you are constantly checking on him. It's really good you have the history of nursing him, that is surely helpful in this situation! :)

On the urination, it's good he finally went. If he has trouble standing in the litter box, he may be holding his urine on purpose. You may be able to help him by standing him in the box and expressing his bladder. (Or you could do it outdoors if he ever goes outdoors.) You could help him initiate urination by squeezing his abdomen.

This article descibes expressing the bladder, if you are not already familiar with it. I recommend starting at the end of the article where there are a lot of videos. You will see videos demonstrating expressing a bladder for a cat.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16027

The thing is, he really needs to be emptying his bladder every 8 hours to prevent urinary infection, or a distended, stretched out bladder, or the build up of "sludge" that can lead to stones and crystals. I would think at least every 12 hours in a short term situation. Also, if he wets his skin, that could lead to skin breakdown. If he does that again, I would just put his hindquarters under running water (like maybe the kitchen faucet or a laundry faucet if you have one?) to rinse him clean. I'm guessing you already did that because it sounds like he's not grooming yet.

You also want to watch that he does not get constipated. If he is not eliminating, I would recommend asking the vet for lactulose syrup. It is a stool softener that is not habit forming and safe for long term use. It only takes a little, and you can adjust the dose as needed. If he gets really constipated, he may need an enema at the vet's office. So anything you can do to get him eliminating before he gets constipated would be helpful.

That is cool about listening to the cars. Three is still a young kitty. :D
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Re: Sucky's neurological damage

Postby critters » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:22 am

Sucky's mom wrote:

I was concerned that he hadn't peed but found him a little bit ago laying in a puddle and he was as limp as a noodle. It gave me a scare as I thought he had died and passed his urine then, but he started moving and walking around the room a little while after. Maybe he was embarrassed or it was such a relief that he was overjoyed and passed out?



I wonder if he had a seizure? If it happens more, he may need meds, like phenobarbital or something.
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Re: Sucky's neurological damage

Postby Sucky's mom » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:35 am

He hadn't had a bowel movement as of yesterday either so we called the vet and took him back in for a few hours of observation. We had been syringe feeding him but at the office they offered him some kibble and some soft food and he dove into it. They also gave him some fluids subcutaneously and he started getting his strength back. We picked him up in the afternoon and on the way home, IN THE CAR, he had his first bowel movement. Never mind the stench or mess I was glad he was finally moving something through his system.

He has peed a few times but not had a BM yet today but I think we are on our way now. He does seem to be partially blind but the vet and we are hopeful that this problem will eventually correct itself, if not in full, at least partially. I have noticed him repeating his movements about the rooms as though he is trying to memorize his area. We still haven't used the litter box but I'm keeping his food in one spot, his bed in another and his potty pads in a separate area in hopes that he will get that routine down too.

I'm going to try the litter box later today and see what results we have.

Keep praying.
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Re: Sucky's neurological damage

Postby critters » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:42 am

Blindness and/or deafness would not be terribly unusual, especially at first.
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Re: Sucky's neurological damage

Postby BendyMom » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:19 pm

I love hand nursers! I had wondered about his name. Hopefully he'll get that habit back. It really is endearing.

Mimosa regained some sight and a little hearing. While she was blind and deaf I communicated with her through vibrations. At night she stayed in a large cage and I would tap the door three times before I opened it, she quickly learned that three taps ment to come here, the door is opening, or just come here. If she was out of the cage I could tap the floor (hard) three times and she would come to the taps. (it's an old house, the floor vibrates if you stomp).

Sounds like he is making really good progress. Mimosa needed help to pee and poop for a long time but eventually got it figured out on her own. She knew her schedule, and would wait for me to hold her over the litterbox. Sometimes she still needed assistance peeing.

If you feel just forward of his hips you might be able to feel stool there and try to massage it down. I find this will trigger a poop response in some cats. It's great he is eating on his own. If you haven't already, I woudl get your vet to show you how to do SQ fluids at home. it's easy and a very useful thing to know. You can test hydration pull pulling on his skin adn seeing how quickly it snaps back. Then you can give fluids to him when he starts to get dry so he never gets really really dehydrated. That will help a lot with constipation, too.
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Re: Sucky's neurological damage

Postby Sucky's mom » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:03 pm

I'm sorry I haven't been too active answering or writing updates. We have made amazing progress in the last couple of days. He is now able to walk up and down the stairs to the litter box and he uses it and is even covering his own droppings. He is slow and wobbly but he actually prefers to do it himself rather than be carried. I stand in front of him in case he starts to fall so I'm getting a good bit of exercise and I'm tired too. He will repeat this process several times a day but when he gets tired he just drops where he is at and he is out for a while. He always was a good eater and now he is eating a can and a half of the special high protein food a day and about 1/2 cup of kibble.

Today I had the laser pointer out playing with the other cats and he saw it! I know he did. He even put his paws out as if to catch it. He lost interest very quickly but seeing that reaction really made me feel better. He also has sucked on my fingers a couple of times and today he started to make biscuits on his special "cush" pillow he has had since he was a baby. Again he didn't focus on the task for very long but at least the reflexes are falling into place bit by bit. Every day I'm seeing improvement and I'm so grateful. Many prayers have surrounded him these last couple of weeks.

I have barely left him out of my sight and I'm closing him into the bathroom again tonight as I don't want him wandering aimlessly through the night but tomorrow I'm going to give him some space and let him roam more unsupervised. One of the younger cats seems to be assisting him. If he sees him stopped on a step he will go and sit beside him until he finds his way again. This is a major change as when we first brought him home none of the other cats even seemed to recognize him and hissed at him or ran away. Their reaction reminded me of how the other cats treated old Grizabella in the Broadway show CATS. It broke my heart to see him rejected by his own clan.
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Re: Sucky's neurological damage

Postby critters » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:12 pm

Congrats!! I don't blame you for not letting him run amok at night; nothing makes me feel worse than stepping on somebody who can't get out of the way, and the Pussycat Shuffle doesn't always work!
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Re: Sucky's neurological damage

Postby Sucky's mom » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:37 pm

I think tonight will be the first night I don't enclose him in the bathroom. We've pretty much "cat" proofed the house from dangers and he has made really good progress the last few days. He repeats the same actions over and over and I can only contribute it to learning his old behaviors. He has walked up and down the stairs to the basement probably 10 times a day. Sometimes he uses the litter box but sometimes it's just to walk.

Today's game was to put his front paws into the water bowl repeatedly, shake and repeat. He would attempt a bath in between and had the floor and himself soaked. He also attempted to bat a toy and play for a bit but the attention span is very short. He is back to sucking my fingers, making biscuits on his pillow and even a bit of a purr. He still walks into walls and has a vacant look to his eyes but he is reacting to sounds more and more and perking his ears up.

He can "slide" off the couch and ottoman now but is a long way from jumping up on anything by himself and I don't think I'd want to have him attempt anything higher than the couch yet so the bed is off limits. I've found that if I feed him before I go to bed at night we both get a full nights sleep. I had to wake him up this morning instead of the 3 a.m. cat alarm crying and waking me.

For anyone else with a cat with this type of problem don't give up! It takes time, lots of it, and patience and the process is much like having a kitten again as they learn their world all over again.

I love this little guy so much though that I'm willing to give it what it takes to get him to the best he can be.
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Re: Sucky's neurological damage

Postby critters » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:58 am

Oh, good! That's all terrific! :wub:
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