If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
Hi. I'm new here, I found this place when someone on another board suggested I come here for advice.
So, I have an 11y/o kitty whose health has changed dramatically in the past few days and I'm really hoping someone is familiar with what I'm seeing. My kitty, Mihu, has always been healthy and very active, he's an Egyptian Mau if that matters any and is an only cat. I noticed some subtle changes in his behavior, like not eating as much, seeming more stressed, but he was still mostly fine. I watched him for a few days and finally decided he needed to be seen, his muscle tone had changed and he was weaker. We saw the vet first on Thursday and they ran a blood and urine screen to find he has a bladder infection, but nothing else significant showed. This was a basic screen, there is another more advanced screen but I'm really stretched financially so that hasn't been done. He had lost 2lbs from his normal weight of 13lbs. While at the vets office I witnessed the first of what look like seizures, but aren't classified as such, the vet said they are too short. Basically, his body tenses and shakes, for about 2-3 seconds, then it's gone and he lets out a loud stressed meow. He remains conscious, doesn't lose bladder control or anything else. He just buries his head for a moment and then it's gone. I didn't see any episodes Thursday night, but that is probably because they gave him a shot after the first episode in office. Yesterday (Friday) morning before our second trip to the vet I witnessed several of these, like 5+ in less than an hour. I didn't really count them. But during that time they seemed to come every few minutes, like less than 10 minutes. The vet kept him yesterday afternoon to observe, and then started him on phenylbarb/cortisone with a shot. He hasn't had one since that I'm aware of. His current condition is weak, he can get around, but is lopsided and awkward. He doesn't belly crawl, but isn't fully upright either. He becomes very freaked out if I pick him up to carry him or even hold him in my lap which used to be a favorite for him. I think it either disorients him or something. It's like he's afraid he'll fall. Thursday he was much better than Friday, like he became dramatically worse in 24 hours. This morning he seems maybe a bit stronger, but it's hard to tell.
He is refusing food and water right now. Right now I give him the phenylbarb 15mg daily, this is a split pill given morning and night. He is getting amoxicillan for his infection in liquid form in the same sessions. Tomorrow I have to start giving him predinisolone liquid cuz the shot the vet gave will wear off then.
I would love tips for how to do this without stressing my sweet kitty too much. Right now I wrap him in an old pillowcase and that seems to keep his feet contained mostly. I am also giving him water via syringe cuz he is dehydrated. I gave him about 4cc of water yesterday from 5pm till bedtime, is this too much or not enough? Giving him liquids does cause large amounts of bubbly drool to come out of his mouth. Also, if I'm giving him water, how often should I offer the litter box? This morning I didn't get that done in time and he peed on the carpet. I'm going to get a second box set up for the downstairs so he will have one in both areas. It a bit tricky as we are in a small space and I have a 10m/o crawling little girl. The pill I am wrapping in moist food, but that (the food) mostly ends up all over me and then the pill is naked but I have been finally getting it down his throat after much struggle. So I don't think he is getting any food. Is there anything I should do about that other than keeping it available in case he wants it?
Has anyone had a similar occurrence with their kitty and received a diagnosis? I can't afford the brain scan so the vet can only speculate, she is leaning most heavily towards a brain tumor, but can't be sure. My kitty has lived his life as an indoor cat with only supervised outdoor trips. Most of those have been in enclosed areas like a patio or with him on a leash in the yard. I don't think he has ever eaten a wild animal, insects though, he's eaten lots of those. But a virus type thing is less likely in his case I think.
Sorry for the super long post, I just wanted to get all the info down. Feel free to ask any questions, offer advice or just a hug. TIA.
Did they do a test for FIP or feline leukemia? FIP can affect the brain. I have no other ideas but I hope you find something that helps.
As I read th description, that's the same way a belly ache exhibits? How are his stools? Just an idea, because I had a cat w/blockage who showed that sort of reaction to pain. I also had a kitten who seized, but her seizures were a little different. She too would stiffen and her body would shiver, her eyes glazed open mouth open.
If he is seizing, that is a lot, 5 in an hour.
You can entice him to eat using your baby's baby food. Meat is yummy. I would smear it on my meticulous cat in the hopes she would lick herself clean.
There are a lot of seizure families here and I hope they weigh in shortly ... hang on ... help is coming!
Karen, Andy's ^i^ mom
Lethal White Aussies Rule!
INTERACTIVE RESCUE SITE!
hi and nice to meet you,I have a shihtzu that has mild seizures as well.It started just about like your cats did.
We have him on the meds as well,same doses as your cats.It usually makes them more hungry.
It is so so scarry when this happens to them,and I understand totally what your going through.Did they tell you to give your cat valium to calm her or he down?
Whenever I take my josey(shihtzu) anywhere I have to give him this in order for him not too get shaken and go into a seizure.
Did your cat just get vacinations?If so this does trigger seizures sometimes.I pray your baby gets better soon.
Any kind of flea collars??flea liquid did you use?
We still dont know what causes our furbabies ,but we just keep praying he doesnt have anymore.
WE just lost a 4 month shihtzu in june too GME.a horrible desease ,it was seizure after seizure then a coma .WAs heartwrenching.
I wish I could help you,sending prayers your way.Nez
Thanks for the responses.
My vet did briefly mention feline leukemia but felt that it would be very rare for it to manifest so late in his life. I am pretty sure he tested negative for that many years ago too, but I'm not sure if I still have records for that to confirm.
Baby food? Hmm, I'm not doing puree baby type foods with my daughter, but I'd certainly go buy some for my special guy if it would help. Maybe it would be easier to digest than his normal food? He used to also be very meticulous about cleaning, but I don't think he has done much or any self cleaning the past couple days. I did wipe some food on his chin and he ingested that but that was on Thursday. I'm going to try that again though. Thursday was the last day he ate any amount of consequence, I think it was the shot the vet gave him cuz he was ravished I'm sure. He did throw half or most of what he ate then up, so I wasn't sure if that meant he over ate (I gave him 2 small separate portions that he wolf'd down about an hour apart) or was sickened by eating.
There haven't been any recent vaccinations, flea or other treatments. Really this came out of no where. I was very sick for a few weeks and my partner is out of country so it is just me taking care of baby and kitty. I was so sick I could barely meet my needs and the baby's so he was last to be cared for. I feel incredibly guilty about it cuz for a week or a few days before I could tell something was up, but it was really subtle before Thursday. The vet gave him a shot of valium Thursday, and he seemed so drugged. But she didn't give me any for him, or myself. I could have used a shot too. I am really stressed by this cuz of the guilt and just his sudden health change and what it takes to care for him now. It hurts that he doesn't even want to be on my lap which he never would turn down before. I feel helpless about a lot of this. Sorry for the lame attempt at humor.
I also have a question about the antibiotics. I know that abx generally kill off all bacteria, good and bad in our systems which when health is compromised can lead to other issues. I give my daughter something called Baby Jarro-dophilus. It's full of all the good organism's that our digestion needs to be healthy. I'm sure cats are similar in this way with bacteria and digestion. But would the same stuff that works for humans work also for kitty, I'm thinking about the many different strains of these organisms that may or may not be naturally in a cats system? I could dose as little or as much as needed. I'm just not sure if the same bacteria exist normally in both our systems. I know there is a pet version, but it's $12 a jar for the baby version so if I could just use what I already have it would be preferred.
Thanks for the prayers and well wishes for kitty and I. Keep 'em coming!
I had a pup with more problems than you could imagine. Doc Dx'd IBD on phone consult while another had us on antibiotic & endsorb. Because of her explosive diarrhea, I gave her yoghurt to get the bacteria levels back where they should be in the digestive tract. Antibiotics kill bacteria. And as someone who lives on a septic system, I have to actually FEED my bacteria, because bleach will flat kill it. Like antibiotics.
Karen, Andy's ^i^ mom
Lethal White Aussies Rule!
INTERACTIVE RESCUE SITE!
I've never dealt with seizures so I can't help you there. But I do know it is very important for a cat to keep eating. When cats don't eat, they can develop a condition called "fatty liver" (hepatic lipidosis) that can be fatal. I would continue to force feed him if he is not eating. You could ask the vet for an appetite stimulant, it works on some cats. There is a high calorie canned food that works in a syringe, called Science Diet a/d. You get it at the vet, and pets tend to like the taste of it. It is specially intended for sick or recuperating cats and dogs.
You were asking about the water and I certainly agree about trying to keep him from being dehydrated. I do not honestly know how many cc of water a cat should drink a day. 5 cc of water between dinnertime and bedtime does not sound like much? I have a senior cat who gets 150 cc every day (sub-q, under the skin) in addition to what she drinks on her own. You might discuss this with the vet, he may want you to bring in your kitty for some sub-q fluids if he is not drinking well. Here is an article that says a cat will drink 200-300ml of water a day...not sure who wrote the article or how reliable it is.
http://www.cathealthcareguide.com/how-m ... -a-cat.php
The best way I know of to give a cat a pill is with a pet piller. It is a plastic applicator with a soft rubber tip that lets you place the pill in the back of the throat where it will be swallowed. It is easier on you and the cat, and more of a sure thing than trying to hide the pill in food. You will know your cat swallowed the pill when he licks his nose.
http://www.lambertvetsupply.com/Pet-Pil ... --014LXTPP
I am sorry, it sounds like you really have your hands full. Adding my best wishes in with everyone else's...
Thank you CarolC. That was all really good info. I'll get the Hills tomorrow and also ask the vet about doing sub-q fluids at home. I doubt I could get him to take enough water with a syringe if it needs to be 150cc to 300! Wow, my little syringe would take forever, especially since my patient is not very cooperative. I know the vet did give him fluids on both Thursday and Friday via sub-q. Hopefully that relieved most of his dehydration at that time. I realize that he would now be dehydrated again though. So I'll be more aggressive about getting him water. If money was no object, I'd take him to the ER vet, but I'm sure even the charge for something as simple as giving him a dose of sub-q fluids would be outrageous.
I have a question about prednisolone. I just gave Mihu his first dose and it was horrible! I got about half the dose in his mouth and he freaked like it tastes really bad. Then he started seizing I think. He went stiff in my lap, shaking horribly out of control, and it lasted at least 10 seconds. Did the medicine cause a seizure? I didn't give him the rest of the dose cuz I was too afraid. In fact, I'm going to wait to give his clavamox dose cuz I didn't want to traumatize him (or myself) too much, fortunately I had already given him his phenobarb dose. I was able to hold him in my lap and calm him for several minutes after this episode. I tried calling the emergency vet, but didn't get an answer. I'll call back later. But has anyone ever experienced something like this with dosing prednisolone? Should I try in a bit to give him the rest of his AM dose?
After a few minutes I offered him food and he hungrily took it. I remembered last night I have tuna flakes and he LOVES tuna. So I put a bunch on a plate and then moistened them with water. He ate some of this last night as well as this morning. I'm going to the store this morning to get real tuna in water as well as some baby food.
TIA. All the support is greatly appreciated.
Hmm.... well the pred is in liquid form. If it tastes nasty (I guess I could put a drop on my tongue to find out) I don't think there is much I could hide it in. A neighbor of mine works at the human hospital and I asked her about pred. She told me that it's a pretty hardcore drug and that it can sometimes make ppl aggressive, but she wasn't aware of a seizure side effect. I've got a message in with our 24 hour vet, but no response yet. I may have one possible way of getting the pred into Mihu without him tasting it much, but would like to know if anyone thinks this is a good idea------> I have an SNS system from when my daughter was born. It's basically a syringe and long skinny tube, I'm not good with measurements at all, but if I remember correctly the tube is no bigger than a pencil lead. How hard would it be for me to get enough of the tube in Mihu's mouth/throat so that I could squirt the pred in without him tasting it? I'm guessing it was the taste cuz he hasn't reacted like that to the water syringes or clavamox which is also a liquid. Good idea, or very bad?
I returned from the store earlier with cans of tuna in water (unsalted too), some turkey dinner baby food that is onion free, and a can of Spots Stew. I've never used it, but it's salmon flavored, so I thought it may suit our needs at some point. I broke out the tuna first. I smashed it up on a plate and he got excited when he smelled it. At first I held it at a comfortable level for him. His head bobs up and down over the plate and at one point he fell over into the plate, then I put it on the ground and he continued eating. I spooned it out as fast as he would eat it. I made sure to include lots of the tuna water too. Towards the end I noticed he was more licking the plate rather than eating. So then I took the syringe and began squirting the tuna with plain water figuring the tuna taste was what he wanted. I kept doing that until he had his fill of both. I feel better cuz I know he is at last getting some nourishment and liquid without being stressed by the event.
He is not sleeping in his carrier cave today. He is trying to move but is very weak. I wish he would sleep in there simply cuz I know he would be warmer and I don't want him expending valuable resources on staying warm when I can help it. I'm hoping to see more strength this evening provided he continues to eat. Before I went to the store he let me cover him with a blanket and he was still under it when I returned. Also, last night I had him sleep in the room with me. I couldn't put him on the bed, so I set up a nice warm spot with the heating pad and blankets, had it preheated and everything. I put him there and he immediately crawled away. He spent the whole night out on the floor, uncovered. He did have food, water and a pee pad available. At one point in the night I could hear him scratching on the closet door and I rolled out of bed to him and he was on his back, paws in the air and I couldn't tell if he was flailing or playing or what? It was about 4:30am so I wasn't very coherent. There was an empty jar and stuffed animal near his head and front paws that was part of the noise that woke me.... so I moved those things and crawled back into bed. Any ideas what that might have been? Could he have been playing or seizing? The part about being on his back is what doesn't make sense and it worries me. He hasn't peed since yesterday morning. I know I need to get more water in him. I feel so horrible for not realizing or asking the vet how much water I should be getting into him. I had no idea it was so much. His breathing is definitely more labored as well. He only crawls a few feet at a time. I'm just trying to give him lots of love in between the meds and water syringes.
Thanks everyone for your support. It truly means a lot to both of us.
I would be quite concerned about the labored breathing. I'd be inclined to take him to the emergency vet if possible, or if that's out of the question then I'd plan to call the regular vet at 8 tomorrow morning. For tonight, I'd bother him as little as possible and let him rest. Your description of his condition sounds very serious.
Thank you CarolC. That is the plan for tomorrow morning. I've been really fortunate that this vet has worked with me so much on his care expenses, I've received about 50% in discounts, so it's been a great blessing.
Friend2Dogs, Sorry to hear about Milly. It's pretty unlikely that this could be the issue for Mihu. I don't have any poisons out cuz I have a 10 mo daughter who puts everything in her mouth. I've never seen evidence of mice in our home either. Mihu is only outside when supervised. But thank you for the support.
He just had another episode of something. I heard him scratching and found him on his side, rear legs stretched out stiffly with toes splayed, and his front legs were bicycling repeatedly like he was trying to run. That lasted for about a minute. Is that a seizure? He remained conscious. I am so scared. I'm not ready to lose him. Of course I don't want him to suffer either. I've just been praying hard that he would get better.
Yeah, it's serious. Even the vet has already mentioned the possibility of mercy due to quality of life. But he's only 11, that's not that old, esp. for an indoor cat. I totally wasn't expecting this possibility so soon. If his condition is that serious, should I continue to medicate him tonight? I am especially worried about the prednisolone after he had a bad response to it earlier. About an hour before this last episode he took his clavamox and 6cc of water without too much stress. Where's a magic wand when you really need one?
I'm afraid only a vet knowledgeable about your kitty's condition could answer the medication question. I just automatically worry there may be congestive heart failure when I hear a cat has labored breathing because that happened to my cat, but it could be other things as well. The paddling does sound like a seizure but I have no experience with them. I found a Yahoo group on feline epilepsy, they may know more about this. They will have a message archive you can read and you should be able to post questions.
I agree with you, 11 is only middle-aged, I hope something can be done for him.
Thank you again CarolC. I really appreciate your responses. If you can't tell, I'm freaking out a little over here. I'm trying really hard to remain open about what the vet will say in the morning. I mean I've been given so many possible things that this could be that are not nearly so serious and I want one of those diagnosis. Something manageable, right?
I'll check out that yahoo group too.
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