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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mamas, I'm really scared. I have an 11y/o neutered male cat that has recently taken dramatic changes in his health. He has always been a healthy, very active cat indoor only cat. I feel guilty about it cuz I neglected him the past few weeks due to my own poor health.

Two nights ago, after I was finally feeling better I took a close look at him and realized something was really wrong. So yesterday I took him to the vet and after they did blood work and urine work he was determined to be a little dehydrated and have a bladder infection and given antibiotics. But he's lost 2 lbs down to 11 from 13. He seemed a little off neurologically. He used to always feel so thick and muscular, now he feels so soft and weak. While at the vets office waiting for lab work to be done I think he seized. They came running in and shot him up with valium that also had an anti-seizing med. I brought him home, he ate (something he's not been doing his normal amount of lately) slept for bit, ate some more and puked. I set him up a warm bed in the same room as his litter box and he spent the night there. I used a heating pad on low under an old tshirt and thick blanket for him to lie on and then covered him with a thin blanket.

So this morning he is too weak to walk, he more belly crawls. I had to carry him downstairs. I offered food and he had no interest, same with the litter box. And now, every few minutes or so, he seems to be seizing, but I'm not sure, or maybe too scared to admit to myself. It happens really quickly and is gone almost as fast. He suddenly tenses his body and shakes for a second or two, meows, and then relaxes again.
We have a followup with the vet this afternoon. I think I'm going to call and see if we can come earlier cuz he's much worse than yesterday. Yesterday he could get around on his own at least.

I'd really love anything anyone could offer. I'm in a very difficult time right now in so many ways. My DP is overseas so I'm effectively a single parent for now and until Feb. This is how it came to be so far along I think. I was sick as in barely functioning sick, and had to care for my 10 m/o DD and my poor kitty was last to be cared for.

TIA
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well, I took him to the vet and they were concerned enough to keep him for observation till late this afternoon. She wasn't sure if what I described was a true seizure, so I think that is why they wanted to watch him. He is definitely worse than yesterday. He could walk and get around pretty freely yesterday, although he wasn't himself.

I'm so lost. They are going to give him cortisone and whatever the really common anti-seizing drug is. I don't remember what she said. I'm so worried cuz I know he is so stressed out from yesterday (we were there for 3 hours then) and now he is there and even more stressed cuz I'm not there with him. She said that I could drive 5 hours to portland for a brainscan, but I don't have the money to pay her in full, so that's out. She brought up quality of life concerns depending on what she observes today.

I don't know what to say. I just want a hug, and someone to make it better.
 

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I'm not trying to scare you, but this sounds similar to what happened to my mother's dogs (poodles who were sisters). They had strokes within a week of each other. The part where you said he could barely walk sounds very similar to what I observed with her dogs.

s

I really hope your cat is okay. I have two kitties of my own, and I dread anything bad happening to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you. I know the vet mentioned stroke as well, and well it was already on my mind because my father had several mini-strokes last year. She did seem to feel that a brain tumor might be more common. Ugh.... since I can't afford the scan to find out if it is a tumor or a clot I'm hoping that something else will give her a more definite feeling of his diagnoses.

No, don't worry, you didn't scare me. It is what it is right now. I'm just hoping for good news when I see the vet in a few hours. She did say that sometimes cortisone has really helped some cats to get better and continue a good life. But I guess it all depends on his particular situation. I hope your kitties have many long healthy years in front of them.

eta: congrats on your new pregnancy too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After spending much of the day at the vet's in observation, he is back home with us now. The vet hasn't classified him as having seizures because his episodes are too short. They need to last about 10 seconds or so to be classified as seizures apparently and his episodes are about 2-3 seconds. I'm hoping that is something to be grateful for. I have phenylbarbitol to start giving him on Sunday after the shot they gave him today wears off as well as the cortisone, but they called it something else.

I think I ran the vet off because I was asking so many questions and without an actual diagnoses she can only speculate about much of this. She did seem to feel that brain tumors are more likely than stroke, but then there are all sorts of viruses that could be affecting him like this as well. While most of these are unlikely given his life as an indoor cat, they are still possible. He's never eaten a wild animal afaik, but he loves crickets, flies and a few other insects.

When we came home I offered him food and he wouldn't take it at first, so I put a little on my finger and rubbed it on his chin hoping he'd at least lick that off. Instead he actually took a few bites. I also offered him his litter box, but he had no interest there. So I turned on the heating pad and laid down with him talking, crying, apologizing for about 15 minutes while he warmed up and settled in. Then I covered him with the thinner blanket and told him to call out if he needs me. I'll keep going up to check on him every so often. I don't know what else to do except wait and see how he does over the weekend.

I told him that I'll do everything I can to help him return to health. I also said that if he can't do that, then I understand, and that I'll help it to be quick if he has to leave us. He's been through so much with me, put up with me at my worst and has at times even annoyed the crap out of me. I hope I have been as wonderful a companion for him as he has been for me.

God, I knew that at some point this day would come, a day when his health might fail, or worse. But I wasn't prepared for it to happen now. I don't think its something that you can really prepare for I guess, at least not the initial downturn. It would hurt and be scary no matter when it happened.

I'd still love any tips or advice anyone might have if they have been through something similar or whatever. Heck, even hugs or healing vibes for him would be greatly appreciated. TIA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you boatswainwife.

They did a basic blood screen yesterday and only one thing not related to his dehydration/urinary infection I think was out of range. I don't remember what that was, but she hasn't seemed to think it's related to his neuro-symptoms. I think the screen included a thyroid check, but at this point all that stuff is kinda blurry. They did give me a copy of his medical records in case we have to go to the emergency vet over the weekend, so maybe I can check those to see if it's in english.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the support TL & RF. He seems a bit better, a bit stronger, but far from himself still. He is trying to get around but it's obviously very difficult for him. He hasn't had an episode since the last one the vet witnessed which was around lunch today. I'm guessing that was when they had seen enough and gave him his shot.

He is still refusing water completely and food since he came home. Does anyone have suggestions about how much water I should force on him? So far tonight I have used a small syringe and squirted about 2cc's of water in his mouth twice. The second time he had a bunch of bubbly drool come out of his mouth afterwards. Is this normal? Too much water? I know cats get most of their fluid via food rather than water. But since he has a UTI, I feel he should be getting a bit more water than he may prefer. What about food, it's moist, but more difficult than a syringe of water. I have to give him a tablet in a bit and I'm trying to decide if I should dissolve it in water in the syringe or try to make a little food ball to get down his throat. He also needs his abx for his infection..... poor guy. Last time I approached him I could tell he is becoming guarded cuz I'm forcing so much on him. He doesn't want to be held and freaks out if I try. He used to be such a huge lap kitty.
I think when I pick him up he feels disoriented or something, it really seems to scare him. I have been checking on him every little bit, so it's not like every time I go to him I am treating him. I want him to feel loved in between what he probably imagines as abuse.
 

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We gave our cat baby food when she got sick cause it was easier than canned food. I'm not sure if it was the mea only or mixed but it did help her for a bit when she was in a bad place.

I hope your kitty gets better!
 

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Did they check for kidney failure? The not being able to walk and the way he is acting sound like my cats when they went into failure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the baby food suggestion. I'll get some tomorrow.

I'm pretty sure the bloodwork done checked his kidneys and were normal. I have a copy of his chart in case we needed urgent care over the weekend. What values would I look for? He did take a BIG pee this morning, a nice big spot on the carpet. I had just finished giving his meds and was petting him. I just stuck paper towels under his butt so that all of it wouldn't go to the carpet.
 

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I hope he does better, or you can keep him as comfortable as possible. I can totally relate to how you feel, but know that he has had a wonderful life with you. I am sending positive, healing vibes your way, and to kitty (what is his name)?
We all know these hard times will come, but like you said are never prepared. All the best-
:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So his update for today:

He pee'd a nice big spot on the carpet this morning. I have since put a pee pad near his new preferred sleep spot. How often should I offer the litter box to him? I've not found a safe place away from DD where I can have a second box downstairs where he has been staying so at this point it is on an offer basis unless he decides to use the pee pad or carpet again. Any tips on getting the smell out of the carpet? I soaked up as much pee as I could with a towel, then poured straight vinegar on it. I let that sit for a few then soaked that up too. We've never had such an accident so I wasn't sure what to use.

I gave him 6cc's water so far. I'm torn. I feel that he needs more, but I hate disturbing him to stress him even though he needs what I'm giving him.

He seems maybe a bit stronger today, but hard to tell. He is so weak and unstable. Just a few minutes ago was so hard to watch him trying to get around. He wobbles and falls easily. It does seem like he holds his head strangely favoring the left side that he falls on. He hasn't been going more than a few feet from his carrier before returning inside.

My highlight today was he purred! I haven't heard him purr for several days so it was a soul massage.
I was petting him when he did it. He's been most comfortable in his carrier since this happened, so I have it covered with a towel to keep out the drafts and the door is off. I have one of those heat reflective pads they make for cats in there for him to lay on and it's where he chooses to be right now. He was just up for a few minutes so I gave him more water to get to the total above and wiped food on his chin that he licked off. It's a pitiful amount of food though. Not even a bite really. He sniffs and sniffs the offered food but won't take a bite.

About baby food for ailing cats.... is it easier to digest, more palatable or what? Just wondering what the advantages are.

And a question about abx too... I give my DD Baby Jarro-dophilus for digestion. Can I give him this too? I know the abx are killing the good bacteria and so wanted to counter that effect. I saw that there was Pet-dophilus a few weeks ago at the store, but didn't look closely. Does anyone know if it's very similar, would the baby version work for him? Any idea on dosage? I'm tight on money right now so love and improvisation are my biggest allies.

Thanks to all who've offered suggestions, support or even just read the thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by SequoiasMom View Post

I hope he does better, or you can keep him as comfortable as possible. I can totally relate to how you feel, but know that he has had a wonderful life with you. I am sending positive, healing vibes your way, and to kitty (what is his name)?
We all know these hard times will come, but like you said are never prepared. All the best-
:
Thank you for the kind words and healing vibes. His name is Mihu, pronounced me-who.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This morning I had to give Mihu his first dose of prednisolone. It is in liquid form, 2cc 2x daily for the first 5 days. Anyway, I started him with a syringe of water this morning followed by his phenobarb pill which was wrapped in food, but very little of the food was eaten. I then gave him prednisolone. I got about half the dose in and he freaked out! His first response was a huge protest meow like it tasted horrible, and then his body tenses and shook uncontrollably for at least 10 seconds. I just held him tight and tried to talk but don't know if I actually did. When it was over I held him and tried to comfort him. Then I gave him some more of the tuna flakes with water and he ate. I was afraid to stress him any further so I didn't give him his AM clavamox dose, and I'm going to do that shortly cuz I now how important that is too. 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. 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 (dd's things) 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 and doesn't. 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.
 

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All I know to say is
You are such a great person to take such good care of your kitty. Hang in there.......he will let you know when he has had enough. Until then, keep up the hope that he will get better. Take care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you gumby. I needed to hear that.

I just had a scary episode with Mihu. He was laying on his side, rear legs stuck out stiffly with the toes splayed, and his front legs were continuously moving, clawing the carpet like he was trying to run. He did that for about a minute I think. What was that? Does anyone have an suggestion as to if I should try to give him the prednisolone again this evening? He took water and his clavamox dose without much stress earlier about an hour before this.

I'm really worried cuz I know his condition is serious. Some things have improved, but mostly he has deteriorated since Thursday. I really want him to get better. But I also know I'm not in control of that and wouldn't keep him around to prevent my own suffering. Heck, I'm already suffering, seeing him like this, and I know it's very hard on him too.

I'm going to call the vet tomorrow AM. Please pray for us. The vet thought it was serious enough last week to bring up euthanasia and...... I can't say it.
 

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that sounds very much like a seizure
I am so sorry you and Mihu are going through this.
 
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