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My cat is sick...need advice

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My cat is sick...need advice

Old 01-24-11, 06:42 PM
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My cat is sick...need advice

My cat gets the occasional allergic reaction to something (not sure what) in the area of her rear end, usually at the base of her tail. It usually shows up in the form of little scabs, and she's sensitive in that area when you pet her.

The last time she had it, about a year ago, the vet gave her a couple shots, and it cleared up with no problems, and she was fine. This time, I let it go a little longer because of being short on money, hoping it would go away on its own. After she started losing some hair back there, I decided to go ahead and take her back to the vet.

He gave her the same exact shots as last time, but this time he also gave her a vitamin supplement to add to her food, to promote the hair growth and for her dry skin (she's a little flaky all over). I brought her home, gave her a bowl of food (dry), and put a pump of the vitamin liquid on the food. She ate a little, then no more the rest of the day or night. This was this past Thursday. The next day I gave her a new bowl of food, another squirt, and she didn't touch it all day or night. On Saturday I gave her a whole new clean bowl, free of any vitamin residue, and all new food. Didn't touch it. On Saturday I brought home a can of wet food, and she didn't touch it that night, or all day Sunday. On a side note, she is drinking and peeing in the litter box, but she's just not eating at all. She's become weaker and lethargic in the process, and I felt like she was losing weight.

I called the vet this morning, and he had me bring her back in. Upon weighing her, he confirmed that since Thursday, she did lose about 2 pounds. She was 12 pounds, and is now 10.

Without doing tests, he wasn't sure what could be the problem, since she didn't have a problem with the shots before, and he's never heard of anyone having problems with the vitamin supplement. We force-fed her some special food they had, and she kept it down okay, no puking or anything, but she just doesn't seem to want to eat on her own. He gave her a couple more shots to settle whatever might be wrong with her stomach, and the rest of the special food to feed her.

Is it possible she's just had a reaction to the shots (an antibiotic and a steroid) and just needs to get it through her system? Do you think she might be reacting badly to the vitamin supplement? It's called Eicosaderm, and I couldn't find any bad info about it online.

She was fine before we went to the vet on Thursday, and now she's not. I find it hard to believe that she might just be getting sick from natural causes just like that, out of the blue. I suppose it could happen, though.

EDIT: BTW, age-wise, she just turned 11 this last October.

Last edited by The Infidel; 01-24-11 at 06:51 PM.
Old 01-24-11, 07:43 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

My friend's cat had scabs in that area, it turned out the cat was alergic to flea bites. My friend didn't know the cat had fleas, she wasn't itching.

It sounds like she might be having issues with the shots.
Old 01-24-11, 07:58 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

I know this isn't a flea issue, because she's a totally inside cat, and there's not been any problems with finding fleas around the apartment, nor on her.

So if it's an issue with the shots, what needs to happen? Does it just need to work through her system, and I just force-feed her in the meantime?
Old 01-24-11, 09:03 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

I'd think just wait for the shots to work through her system. I'd keep force feeding her and make sure she's drinking plenty of water.

My friend's cat is an total inside cat too. He never found fleas arond his place either, that was the weird thing. We think she caught them from sitting in an open window near the bird feeder.
Old 01-24-11, 09:31 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

Hyperthyroid.
Old 01-24-11, 10:41 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

Originally Posted by grenier View Post
I'd think just wait for the shots to work through her system. I'd keep force feeding her and make sure she's drinking plenty of water.

My friend's cat is an total inside cat too. He never found fleas arond his place either, that was the weird thing. We think she caught them from sitting in an open window near the bird feeder.
Be sure she doesn't become dehydrated. Do you know how to pinch the skin to test for it? Your vet should also have done that when he was examining the cat.

Dehydration can become a vicious circle. The cat is dehydrated which makes it feel like crap, which makes it not want to eat or drink, which makes it more dehydrated, which makes it feel like crap, which.... You get the picture.

The cat could have been put of it's food and water by the treatment, or something else, and that might start the cycle. If this is the problem, than subcutaneous fluids are in order. Of course you vet aught to know if that's necessary.

comb the cat with a flea comb to test for fleas.
Old 01-24-11, 10:44 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

Dehydration doesn't seem to be a problem. Like I said, she's drinking and subsequently peeing in the litter box, so I think she's okay there.

The doctor, from what I could tell, examined her up and down very thoroughly. He didn't find any fleas or feel anything out of the ordinary.

We'll see what happens.

Last edited by The Infidel; 01-24-11 at 10:50 PM.
Old 01-25-11, 09:55 AM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

BTW, do you know the at home dehydration test? At the back of the cat's neck, gently pinch a fold of skin between thumb and forefinger and pull it up. Let go of the fold. A properly hydrated cat's skin should snap back into place. If the skin goes back slowly, or worse yet, the fold remains, the cat is dehydrated. Pale gums are also an indication of dehydration.

Just thought I'd include that to be sure. Good luck with your kitty.
Old 01-25-11, 11:19 AM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

This might be a good time to tempt your kitty a bit. Offer her canned tuna or salmon, something she doesn't get all the time. I'd say milk, too, but if she's got an upset tummy that might make it worse. Still, a teaspoon or so might not hurt.

I hope your baby will be better soon. Give her cuddles from Auntie Vibs. The clowder sends purrs, leg rubs, and head bumps.
Old 01-25-11, 11:28 AM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

I've tried giving her treats she likes, but she's just not wanting to eat anything on her own.
Old 01-25-11, 11:32 AM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

Another treat to try is Gerber 2nd Foods baby food in the little jars. Most cat's find it irresistible. My cats will lick the flesh off my fingers to get it.

Has your vet asked to do bloodwork? That's a diagnostic tool they use frequently.

You might have to blend up some wet cat food into a pudding and than syringe it into the cat. Your vet should have 35 mill syringes for that. These are syringes without needles.
Old 01-25-11, 11:35 AM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

That's exactly what I've been doing. The vet gave me a high potency food, and I've been forcing it to her in a syringe.

The vet said they would need to run tests to find out what's wrong, but I don't know if I can afford to do everything that would need to be done, especially if it comes back that there's either nothing they can find, or nothing that can be done.

I just find it incredible that he doesn't have any clue about this. She was fine before the shots, and now she's not.
Old 01-25-11, 11:44 AM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

I'd suggest going to another vet. The GF recently went to her vet cause her cat was sick (couldn't see) and he said, "Sorry. Here's a reference to a specialist." while dismissing something in her eye as her bumping in to something. Less than a week later she was at the emergency vet cause her eyes were puffy and bloodshot. Turns out she had super high blood pressure which caused her retinas to detatch. By the time she saw the specialist he said one eye is done for although the other may have a chance at fixing itself. I think I'm more pissed off at the vet than she is (she's really just worried about the cat now and underlying issues to the blood pressure) - if the first guy ran a test she might not have had the spike and lost any change of the second eye fixing it self. The other vet at the emergncy clinic knew right away what to start looking for.

Sorry for the rant, but I'd really think about another opinion. It might cost you something for the visit, but it could be cheaper in the long run. Ask around and see if there are any highly recommend feline only vets in the area, or at least one somebody else has had good luck with. I'd hate for this to be something "obvious" that this vet should know to look for.
Old 01-25-11, 11:46 AM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

Thanks. I'll do that.
Old 01-25-11, 12:04 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

Is that high potency food A/D? That's a very rich food and only meant for short term use, not for lifetime use. I am glad you are getting food into the little girl. Maybe this is just something you treat the symptoms for until she can recover.

You might try calling your local humane groups and describing the symptoms to see if they've run into anything like that. I know finances are not plentiful, so you might also ask for the name of a vet that charges less.

How old is the cat? The most common cause of death in older cats is renal failure. When cats get old, that's the system that fails first. The most important treatment for this is daily sub-q hydration. I've done that in the past and I'm doing it now.

We have a cat that was diagnosed with early onset renal failure and I started the fluids a year ago.

Do you think your vet is paying attention to this case? If not, another reason to consider another vet.
Old 01-25-11, 12:19 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

Yes, the food he gave her is A/D.

She's 11, as mentioned in the first post.
Old 01-25-11, 03:25 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

At 11, she is a senior cat. The only sure diagnosis for renal issues that I know of is blood work.

BTW, I often call A/D kitty candy, since a healthy cat will slurp it up like crazy. That fact that your cat is not eating it on his own is cause for concern. It's also for rich and can cause diarrhea.
Old 01-25-11, 05:21 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

I agree with the second opinion. Your current vet seems too dismissive of the problem and is not providing anywhere near a satisfactory answer. From everything that I've read in this thread, the only other suggestion I can think of is that your cat may have a mouth or teeth problem since she isn't eating. This was a problem with one of my senior cats. (But, of course, a decent vet would have caught this problem right away.)
Old 01-25-11, 05:35 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

Here's another possibility. Cats can get stomatitis, which is an inflamation of the gums and it can get bad. It can interfere with their eating. We have a 15 year-old and it was torturing her. We tried antibiotics and steroids and only got partial and temporary relief.

The ultimate solution, in her case since it was all over her gums, was total tooth extraction. I know that sounds like an extreme solution, but it worked for her and it worked for another dear cat (since passed on). She's eating normally and happy. We feed her wet food and she will even eat dry.

Since your cat has been examined and the vet hasn't mentioned it, she probably doesn't have stomatitis. I mention it since it can interfere with eating.

Another idea is to google some cat forums and post on there. You will find some real serious cat owners doing that.
Old 01-25-11, 08:03 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

The cortizone shots do help quite a bit with the flaky butt tail area thing. And yes, you might have to have a few in a row if it went for a bit. I highly recommend the Gerber baby food, meat varieties.

Some oil like Wild Salmon oil will go rancid. It has to be super fresh and many cats can be put off by the taste and smell of it. We make raw food for our cats often and in the right quantities, it goes over well. This is the guide I use--read all the pages, not just this one. It's AWESOME for all ages, especially when cats have issues like mine do. http://www.catinfo.org/?link=makingc...he_Ingredients

I also think it's a great idea to get kitty to a different vet ASAP. Tomorrow if you can, ask friends and neighbors and coworkers for good recommendations. Two pounds is a huge deal, I'm pretty sure from your posts that you know that though. Try the Gerber food tonight if at all possible.
Old 01-25-11, 09:22 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

I took her to another vet earlier today, as suggested right before my last post. This vet was far more thorough in examining her, and a lot more caring toward the cat herself. Her heartbeat and breathing seem fine, and her tummy is a little tender, but she is far more dehydrated than she was yesterday, and the first vet, from what I could conclude, didn't even check for that. I guess he assumed that since I said she seemed to be drinking and using the litter box, that she must be okay.

The second vet wants blood work too, but in trying to get blood, because of her dehydrated state, and also because her blood pressure was apparently a little low, they were having trouble finding a vein, so instead of causing her any more stress, they gave her a subcutaneous IV to get some fluid back in her, and instructed me to essentially force-feed her liquid in addition to the food. He told me to give her about 10cc of a 50/50 water/Gatorade mixture several times a day, and also said to try to get her back on regular name-brand food, but to try and enhance the flavor and scent to get to her to hopefully want to eat on her own again. I have a feeling that she was so put off by the smell and flavor of the vitamin supplement the first vet sold me, that in her already blah state she just stopped eating altogether. I just don't know for sure.
Old 01-25-11, 10:10 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

If for a moment, we assume dehydration is the major problem, sub-q hydration can work wonders. Most vets won't suggest the pet owner do it themselves, because they assume they are not up to it. But, if the cat is cooperative, you can do it. I do it to two cats daily by myself.

If the cat is cooperative, I think the sub-q fluids are less stressful than squirting liquids into her mouth. A needle goes under the skin and the fluids drip in. A cat that needs hydration is probably so tired it will cooperate, but you know your cat and we don't.

I am doing hydration for the long run, so I found a local pharmacy that sells a case (12 bags-1000 ml per bag) for $30. I had my vet call in the RX to the pharmacy. Vets here in Little Rock charge $20 for one bag.

Edit: I just reread your post and caught the gatoraide idea. The vet is trying to emulate the hydration fluids, which are more than just water. I like his idea, but ask if you could hydrate yourself.

I remember when I discovered I had a diabetic cat and didn't possibly think I could do the injections, but discovered I could. My vet than decided I could do hydrations and suggested it for my old cat. Just my way of saying, if hydration is needed, you can do it.

BTW, how is your cat taking the oral fluids? Cooperative, resisting? What's her name?

Last edited by jack999; 01-25-11 at 10:16 PM.
Old 01-25-11, 10:28 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

It's funny, because she's weak as all get-out, but she's just as feisty with those claws, digging into my hands when I try to get the syringe in her mouth. I've had to resort to putting a blanket over her with just her head sticking out, so I can keep her paws in check.

Her name is Skwieque.
Old 01-25-11, 10:34 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

Can you clip her claws, will she let you do that. That could spare you some wounds. If she would allow the sub-q, in one session, you could get 100-200 ml of fluids into her, whatever the vet recommends. I wish you luck.

So is Skwieque pronounced Squeeky?
Old 01-25-11, 10:50 PM
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Re: My cat is sick...need advice

Just squeek.

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