October 20th, 2007, 11:26 AM
Cain is a 13.5 year old neutered male cat. Lately, (particularly since my boyfriend moved in) he has spent a lot of time hiding out under beds, in closets, etc. This is not unusual in him by itself, as he HATES men (he thinks they are all the vet). But as he has been coming out more, I realized there is something else going on. He cries out in pain on jumping, stretching, or being picked up. It is clearly something in his hind end, when palpated the pain seems to be above his tail down into his upper hip area. I think it feels a bit warm as well. The vet was here yesterday for some of our horses, so he came in and checked him out, assuming it was yet ANOTHER urinary blockage or infection (he has had three in the last year, and six or so in his lifetime). It is not. His bladder, bowels, and stomach all felt empty, no temperature, and when he rotated his hips the cat did not yell. Of course, the cat did not yell at anything he did to him, I think he doesn't want him to know where it hurts. He went ahead and gave Cain a shot of steroid and antibiotic (and told me I could bring him in next week for xrays if there was no improvement), which seemed to help for a few hours, but by late last night he was worse than before. Today, he seems better again, still some signs of pain... slow moving, flinching, and heavy breathing and lots of purring, but he is out and about just wants help getting up and down from places. He is still not really eating or using the litter box unless you bring it to him or him to it. He wants to stay in one room and he wants it to be in the room the family is in.
Sorry this is so long, but I figured the more descriptive the better :) The only other explanation I can think of is arthritis of some sort... but this seems a little severe and sudden? And even if it is, what can I do to make him more comfortable? Any suggestions and input would be much appreciated.
October 20th, 2007, 11:50 AM
Hate to say it, but I think he needs a more thorough work-up at the vet (with blood/urine work and maybe x-rays). Is he eating and drinking normally? Also, out of curiosity, what exactly is he eating? Having 6 urinary blockages in his lifetime is rather extreme, and he may do better on a different diet (wet food, specifically). Fingers crossed that it's only something minor. Let us know how he does.
October 20th, 2007, 12:00 PM
He will eat and drink, but only if delivered to him. He is just having too much pain on movement. I tried putting his food dish on the floor as it is normally on my headboard kind of high up, but he is offended by this and walks away. He wants to be put up there and will call you to do so. His dish has been in the same place his whole life, and he is resentful of change. He eats Purina One urinary tract formula, I had to take him off the dry CD as it caused him to gain huge amounts of weight. Currently, as weight is not an issue and I just want him to eat, I am mixing in a little of the canned Hill's CD at all meals. He also gets bottled water ONLY to drink, except when he decides to steal from the dogs to annoy them.
He is not currently blocked, there is urine in the box and the vet palpated him. There is no fever to indicate infection, and the pain seems to be in his back and possibly hips. he does not want to sit down all the way, he crouches instead and then flops down on his side. The vet did recommend xrays if there was no improvement from the medication, although I am just not sure what they can show or help if indeed it is arthritis. Have you ever tried glucosamine in cats by any chance? I have some and thought it might be worth a try. Thanks :)
October 20th, 2007, 12:33 PM
My 14 yr old kitty has had great success taking Cosequin (http://www.preparingfido.com/HTML/LEARN%20MORE.html) (glucosamine/chondroitin combo) for arthritis in one of his elbows. There is a new product called Dasuquin (http://www.nutramaxlabs.com/products/animal/dasuquin/dasuquin_cats.asp) that also contains natural pain killers, which you might want to ask your vet about. I read somewhere that 80-90% of cats over the age of 12 have some form of arthritis, so that would definitely be something to consider. As for the food, I'd really recommend feeding all wet and ditching the dry. A moisture-rich diet is absolutely the best thing for any cat prone to bladder/urinary issues: http://www.catinfo.org/#Cats_Need_Plenty_of_Water_With_Their_Food
October 20th, 2007, 02:19 PM
I think he needs much more thorough workup and exam from your vet with lots of blood work and tests to discover what the pain is from. Pain is a symptom,. not a disease so you need to uncover the reason for it and then treat that.
He also needs to keep eating and drinking = cats do not have the reserve we do. Keep pushing fluids but call your vet as soon as you can.
October 20th, 2007, 04:47 PM
I actually have a glucosamine/chrondroitin combo out in the barn from one of our horses that is for cats as well. Unsure of the brand name, I'll have to look when I go out. As for the food, normally the fluids aren't too much of an issue, he drinks a soda bottle of water every couple days. I bought a self watering dish so I could monitor and to keep it fresher and it worked wonders for how much he drank. I am considering the canned food, but I was always under the impression that it was A) not as nutrient rich and B) not as good for dental hygiene (plus he has a tendency to get diarrhea with too much canned food) ... but, if he isn't even eating the dry food anymore, then he isn't getting either one of those things anyway.
Also, the shot the vet gave him yesterday is apparently doing SOMETHING... he has been improving rapidly throughout the day and has even been getting on and off my headboard and on furniture by himself and without complaint this afternoon. AND ate all of his food and drank about half a bottle of water. Will be curious to see how it goes when the effects wear off. He was even up playing with his mousie with my son a while ago. And the heat above his tail and hips has gone as well.
Of course, if he gets worse again after the steroids and/or antibiotics wear off I will do everything I can for him... but the fact is I am a full time student and a single parent, and while I am lucky enough to have one of the few vets around anymore who take payments from known patients, I can only realistically afford so much... people unable to make payments are the reason vets don't generally take them anymore. I try to do everything I can myself before the vet bills start stacking up unless it is an emergency such as his frequent blockages.
Thanks again for your help and I will definately try the glucosamine too. It can't hurt and it is good to hear there has been success with it.