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17yr old pooping blood?

dashi
July 25th, 2008, 01:42 PM
Hi everyone. I am new here and was told that this is a very informative place to come.

I am extremely worried about my 17 year old cat. I have a vet appointment booked for Tuesday evening (the earliest I could get in which is upsetting).

I will give you a little background information and maybe someone here could help me figure out what is going on with him before I get to my appointment.... Or, more so, I guess, just prepare me for what it could be....

We adopted him when he was 10. He was in the humane society and was not doing well there at all. We went in for a kitten (like most folks) and came out with a kitten and Jesse. He had nearly died twice from the 2 months he was there, as he did not take well after his owner surrendered him.

He has always had slight behavioural problems. From time-to-time would excrete both urine and stools outside his litterbox, but has always checked out perfectly at the vet.

In the past year it has increasingly become worse. To the point where he has even pee'd a couple of times on my hubby while he is sleeping. Still, he functioned perfectly in every other way, just these behaviours.

In the past month, however, he was rarely going in the litter and now he does not go in the litter at all. He has even jumped up on our kitchen table where clean clothes were gathered and pee'd there - even though the litter boxes are right next to the table and much easier to get to. We don't have a laundry room, it is in our kitchen... So, I decided with the clean clothes that were not to get put away right away, I would put them on a chair and move those aside - away from the table, as he would not be able to get to them. I was wrong, I found he was even making the effort to get on top of that chair, and the clothes, and pee on them. He'll even pee BESIDE his box.

We have tried moving the boxes around, to see if maybe it would help... We have removed the lid to see if that would make a difference - he would not even go inside that box (when he was using the litters).

Then last night, he did a regular thing where he squatted and went poo in our hallway, but no poo came out (really) just drops of mucousy blood.

His personality is unchanged and he still moves around without problems.

I was worried before, but now I am really worried and extremely upset. I know at his age, I have to prepare myself for the worst, but it is really hard as I am pregnant with my first and I don't know how I will handle this if he needs to be put down...

I know it is long, but I am trying to give as much info as I can.

Thank you

dashi
July 25th, 2008, 02:01 PM
Also... He is hungry all the time - it seems like everytime he eats he is fine and then a half hour later he wants more. He looks skinnier, even though I am not sure if it is because he is so old it is just all in his "saggies" at the bottom.
He cries up and down our hallway - these really loud cat cries. He used to respond when we would call him to calm him, but now its like he doesn't hear us. I know he hears me up close, but not sure to what degree - maybe he is losing his hearing?
If he is still moving around and still has his personality to him, I shouldn't assume the worst, should I?
I'm so sorry, just really upset and frustrated that I made his vet booking two weeks ago and could only get Tuesday (which I know will be here soon) and then with the recent developments....

badger
July 25th, 2008, 02:01 PM
I would take him back to the vet. At 17, he probably needs his blood, urine and feces examined for whatever is ailing him. The bloody stool could be any number of things, many treatable, so don't panic yet.
As per your second post, he should also be checked for thyroid and diabetes. The frantic eating/weight loss is a big clue.

Chaser
July 25th, 2008, 02:07 PM
He cries up and down our hallway - these really loud cat cries. He used to respond when we would call him to calm him, but now its like he doesn't hear us. I know he hears me up close, but not sure to what degree - maybe he is losing his hearing?

I'm sorry, I have never had cats and can't really help you, but this part sounded familiar to me. Could be his hearing, but it also sounds a lot like when my brother's cat developed dementia. She would get lost in the house in the middle of the night and start wailing as loud as she could. It was really sad, so I hope that's not the case for your kitty :sad:

I would also try re-posting in the Pet Health Forum, as anything posted in there usually catches the eye of the board's vet, Dr. Lee.

If he continues to bleed and can't poo, you may want to consider taking him to an emergency vet.

krdahmer
July 25th, 2008, 07:20 PM
Badger covered the bases... especially don't panic! 17 is old, but not necessarily over the hill, this could well be a treatable problem. :goodvibes: for your vet visit.

Also if he seems to get worse or new symptoms arrise, call the vet again and tell them it can't wait, most vets leave space for emergencies in their schedule, if not, maybe try another vet or if urgent, an emergency vet.

dashi
July 26th, 2008, 04:35 PM
When I initially called my vet I told them all about the urinating and the pooping outside the box. I informed them that he has always had this behavioural problem (they have his records) but it has become a daily thing now. She asked if he seemed frantic, or straining to pee, etc... Which is not the case... One of my other cats had an UTI with crystals last year and it's nothing like that at all. Jesse has great big pees and no straining. The vet did not seem to think it was a UTI and thought a regular scheduled visit would be fine. It is the only vet near me.

I called again and told them about the blood, they don't think it is a very good thing but told me not to be stressed. They are booked solid until my Tuesday appointment but if anything opens up they will call us right away.

Do you think if he is having a blood test (which I want to make sure he gets) that it will reveal anything that might be serious? Do they need to do a ton of sampling and testing? He hates the vet so much and I really don't want to stress him out.

chico2
July 26th, 2008, 04:59 PM
Dashi,if possible you should also bring a stool-sample.
A bloodtest can tell the vet a alot,depending what he asks the lab to check for.
Constantly starving and losing weight,sounds like Hyperthyroidism(my cat has it)but the blood certainly does not,that would worry me..
His behavior could be related to HT,my cat(12yrs old)is calmer and has gain back weight since being diagnosed 2 yrs ago and put on meds.
Hope you can get to the vet sooner...good luck:fingerscr

dashi
July 29th, 2008, 06:46 PM
I just thought I would update everyone who was so lovely to write to me when I was so frantic.

We just got back from the vet (a very expensive visit!)... Jesse is now sporting a new little shaved patch on his neck where blood was taken. Two samples and no stool sample needed. I told him everything about Jesse's behaviour, his urination, stools, excessive appetite and thirst... He is being tested for Hyperthyroidism, Diabetes, Kidney disease and Renal failure... My vet has said that he is positive that Jesse will test positive for at LEAST one of these... He may even test positive for all of them:sad:

I couldn't watch them shave him and take his blood. I have become over sensitive with pregnancy.

I absolutely love my vet... He gives it to you straight and does not make you feel badly about any decision you may have to make. He also tells you the most economical way to help your fur baby. He said that all of these ailments can be treated in an economical manner. Which gives me hope because we couldn't afford expensive treatments. I wish money was never an issue. He was very sweet and said he thought it was great that I even adopted him at 10 and have cared for him so well that he made it to 17 (he said he doesn't see many cats this old). He didn't pressure me into the tests but advised that he wouldn't be able to tell me what was wrong without them. Me, being the way that I am, I have to know... I was ready for a blood test (not two!) but still, in hopes of being able to make Jesse's life a little longer and better, it is worth it. I love him too much.

I almost thought he was going to keel over on me on the way home. He was making weird noises and breathing funny. Once we got home he was fine - he just had himself all frantic. Gave him his favourite, wet food, and now he is laying in his favourite spot ready for a nap. Poor old guy.

Anyway, I will be finding out tomorrow about two of the results of the four...

Thanks for all your support!

growler~GateKeeper
July 30th, 2008, 04:31 AM
Like Chico2 says her cat has HyperT currently managed, I have a 17yr old cat who had HyperT & currently has unrelated Chronic Renal Failure (kidney disease) and doing great, they are both manageable. Another member, Sugarcatmom, has a cat with diabetes which is also manageable.

Any questions let us know :)

:goodvibes: for the results :goodvibes:

Love4himies
July 30th, 2008, 07:21 AM
I hope you find out what is happening to him and that it is treatable :fingerscr.

chico2
July 30th, 2008, 08:03 AM
Dashi:fingerscrfor Jesse and you,for an easily managed problem:fingerscr
Having a vet you trust and feel comfortable with is very important.

dashi
July 30th, 2008, 07:28 PM
So my vet called today and spoke with my husband about the first blood test result. Jesse has come back negative for Hyperthyroidism (very surprising since he had textbook symptoms) and Diabetes. He did come back positive for Kidney Disease:sad: I am so depressed. I obviously knew that he was coming back positive for something, but thought it would have just been HyperT... I know I should have better prepared myself. I guess the bright side is that he does not have all 3. Now we await blood test #2... Keep your fingers crossed for him that that test comes back negative. The vet is not sure when he will hear back but will call us as soon as he gets the results. He had to send them away to another city.

growler~GateKeeper
July 30th, 2008, 07:45 PM
Kidney disease doesn't have to mean then end right now :grouphug: all depends on how well the cat is doing, what the numbers look like & how he responds to treatment

Do you have the numbers? creatinine, BUN, phosphorus, potassium, calcium urine specific gravitiy

Duffy's CRF thread is here: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=45017 lots of helpful links, you have any questions let me know

Pooping blood is not a normal symptom of kidney failure unless the uraemia is fairly bad resulting in gastro intestinal bleeding but it may be as a result of digestive upset as well.

Being really hungry all the time also isn't a normal sign of CRF one more associated with HyperT

chico2
July 31st, 2008, 07:45 AM
Dashi,like Growler says kidney-problems is not a death-sentence.
Growler has tons of experience with this,one of our Cat-Gurus:thumbs up
:fingerscrfor the next test-result:fingerscr
What was the last test for???

Love4himies
July 31st, 2008, 07:57 AM
I was wondering the same thing, normally the thyroid test is the one that is sent away?

:fingerscr:goodvibes::pray:

chico2
July 31st, 2008, 08:05 AM
L4H,when Rocky has his bloodtest for his Thyroid(now every 3 months),I usually have the result the day after.
I have no idea why Jesse would have bloody poop,maybe that's what the last test is for.

dashi
July 31st, 2008, 11:10 AM
Thanks for the comforting words! It means a lot and to know I have someone to talk to who has experience with this.

My hubby said that our vet informed him that he does not have a high toxicity level. I am not sure what that means... That sounds like a good thing... I didn't get home until after our vet office was closed, so I could not call to ask more questions.

I am calling him today to find out more and to see if I can go pick up all his drugs today. He is going to be on pills, which is about 30.00 a month and we also have to give fluid injections twice a week, which is about 28.00 for the bottle and lasts a few months. Then I have to get the syringes as well. Giving shots will be a whole new experience for me.

I feel terribly for Jesse - Although, he is loving all the extra attention he now gets (as if the spoiled baby didn't get enough before, lol).

It's great to know that I can ask for numbers and now know exactly what to ask for! (Thanks Growler).

It sounds terrible, but I cannot even remember what the last test is for... I was sure it was Renal Failure test, but when researching Kidney Disease, are they not related?

I was asking myself the same questions about the constant hunger and the blood in his feces... Also his yowling at night.... I, as well as our vet, thought for sure he would come back positive for HyperT, but it was negative... I will be asking him about that tonight though. Maybe the test result we are waiting on will have an answer to that, but I am really hoping he comes back negative on the last test as well. Maybe the blood does have something to do with his digestive tract (as he has had some good, blood free, poops since)... Maybe the yowling is just him being old and becoming senile? And the constant hunger... Again, maybe digestive upset?

I will definitely ask about these things and also the uraemia? I am not sure what that is...

I'll read that thread Growler!

chico2
July 31st, 2008, 05:00 PM
Dashi,It all sounds scary and confusing at the offset,but you can do it.
I was terrified when I had tio give my Peppi(:rip:)insuline-shots,but it was not a big deal at all.
I am probably a little slow,but if you have to give pills and fluid-injections,the vet must already know what the problem is,right:shrug:

dashi
July 31st, 2008, 07:10 PM
Okay, so I misunderstood my vet... There were technically 3 tests, but one of them had two parts to it - the kidney test. For the kidneys he was tested for Renal Insufficiency and Renal Failure. He is in the insufficiency stage and not in the failure stage yet. Although the damage cannot be reversed, we can give him his meds and see where it goes from there. Sometimes the meds are well taken and extremely successful at doing the job they are meant to do - which is to slow the degeneration of his kidneys and help de-toxify - and sometimes they are not... So, here is me :pray: it works.

Also, I thought he was just to be on pills and injections. When I got there I was given a liquid supplement and pills. My vet was amazing and took the time to speak with me privately, between his appointments, and go over the results, discuss the medication, possibilities and to answer all my questions. Right now I am starting with the meds, to see how everything goes because Jesse's BUN number is in the lower end. If we decide to go with SubQ fluids, then they have everything set aside for me and we can go in with Jesse, have them show us how they are administered and then purchase it at that time.

So, right now Jesse is on Fortekor (5mg) - half tablet, once a day for 30 days -

and

Thera-K Potassium Gluconate Supplement (120ml) - 2ml, once a day for 30 days -

I have been able to find some information on Fortekor but nothing on Thera-K for felines. Does anyone have any experience using these drugs for Renal Insufficiency?

Growler, I am going to send you a PM.

As for his test results, I requested a photocopy for my own records and here is the answer to the numbers question in a previous post...

creatinine*: 256
BUN*: 15
phosphorus: 1.38

I am not sure what the abbreviation is for potassium or calcium urine specific gravitiy, but here is the rest... Not sure if it makes any sense to you Growler? None of it makes any sense to me... I just know the ones with "*" next to them were important. There are also reference numbers next to his results, that I am assuming are what the average range is for each...

ALB: 38...................(reference 22-44)
ALP: 29...................(ref 10-90)
ALT: 35...................(ref 20-100)
AMY*: 1369...............(ref 300-1100)
TBIL: 7....................(ref 2-10)
CA++: 2.52..............(ref 2.00-2.95)
GLU: 5.3..................(ref 3.9-8.3)
NA+: 154.................(ref 142-164)
K+: 4.8....................(ref 3.7-5.8)
TP: 79.....................(ref 54-82)
GLOB: 41..................(ref 15-57)

He mentioned changing Jesse's diet and I am assuming it would be a good change for all of them to be on, to help the others to possibly avoid this issue in the future? I am keep them on dry and wet food, but he wants me to look into the protein content. I had done some reading in the past couple of days that suggest cutting back on the protein in the feline diet (even with CRF) is not adviseable. As cats need protein in their diet. The important thing to cut back on is the phosphorus, if anything... I read that the need to cut back on protein is better suited for Renal Failure in Canines.... I gently brought this up with my vet, as I did not want him to think that I knew better than him because I read stuff on the internet in a couple of days (when he went through much schooling and has been a vet for a very, very long time). He was very open to hearing what I read up on, as it also allows him to hear new information that is circling... Once again, my awesome verterinarian. He just let me know that cutting back on protein for CRF is what he was told to advise in these situations. Is it possible for this information to have changed since? I am going to check, also, with my pet specialty supply store downtown - they are a whirlwind of knowledge.

Currently they are given Wellness wet food (which I know is great for Jesse) and FROMM 4 Star dry food (which has proven excellent for them so far, but will need to look into a possible switch). FROMM 4 Star also makes Grain Free now and maybe that will be a good switch, or possibly to another brand completely... Thinking "outloud" here.

I also asked about his constant hunger and the blood in his stool. He let me know that Jesse may be in senility due to his very old age (which also explains the yowling) and the blood in the feces may have been caused by the straining from constipation or even a pollup on his rectum. As there has not been a bloody display since that day... If it happens again, I can bring a sample in and have it tested.

Sorry for the great length of this post, but I just wanted to give all the info I could and see what you guys come back to me with.

Thanks for everything!:grouphug:

growler~GateKeeper
August 1st, 2008, 01:26 AM
I must say I'm surprised there was no urine test done, that is usually done along with the blood test when checking for kidney issues :shrug: or is this one you are awaiting results of?

So, right now Jesse is on Fortekor (5mg) - half tablet, once a day for 30 days -

and

Thera-K Potassium Gluconate Supplement (120ml) - 2ml, once a day for 30 days -

I have been able to find some information on Fortekor but nothing on Thera-K for felines. Does anyone have any experience using these drugs for Renal Insufficiency?

Growler, I am going to send you a PM.

Responded to said pm. :)

Duffy is not currently on any medications so I have no personal experience with these two.

Based on the name "Thera" meaning therapy, "K" elemental symbol for Potassium and I did find this: Potassium Gluconate "This mineral is important for a healthy nervous system and a regular heart rythm. It helps prevent stroke, aids in proper muscle contraction, and works with sodium to control the body's water balance. Potassium is important for chemical reactions within the cells and aids in maintaining stable blood pressure and in transmitting electrochemical impulses"

The kidneys being a muscle as well as an organ should help with the function, and controlling water balance & where the water is, is essential aslong as there is not too much sodium (salt) involved.

As for his test results, I requested a photocopy for my own records and here is the answer to the numbers question in a previous post...

creatinine*: 256
BUN*: 15
phosphorus: 1.38

I am not sure what the abbreviation is for potassium or calcium urine specific gravitiy, but here is the rest... Not sure if it makes any sense to you Growler? None of it makes any sense to me... I just know the ones with "*" next to them were important. There are also reference numbers next to his results, that I am assuming are what the average range is for each...

ALB: 38...................(reference 22-44)
ALP: 29...................(ref 10-90)
ALT: 35...................(ref 20-100)
AMY*: 1369...............(ref 300-1100)
TBIL: 7....................(ref 2-10)
CA++: 2.52..............(ref 2.00-2.95)
GLU: 5.3..................(ref 3.9-8.3)
NA+: 154.................(ref 142-164)
K+: 4.8....................(ref 3.7-5.8)
TP: 79.....................(ref 54-82)
GLOB: 41..................(ref 15-57)

The ref numbers are the normal range low-high.
Potassium is K+ ~ this looks good, well within normal range, Calcium is CA++ ~ also looks good well within normal. The phosphorus is actually also in normal range not a bad number there. (Duffy's phos is a bit higher) The other thing to look at is the ratio of calcium to phosphorus is should be close to 2:1 this comes in to consideration with medications that affect the calcium levels. In this case the ratio is alittle off the 2:1 range but not in a large amount that would be concerning right now.

The other one with a * is Amylase which is an enzyme that is produced by the pancreas and the intestinal tract, it helps break down sugar.

Urine specific gravity is not in the blood tests that you need a urinalysis.

He mentioned changing Jesse's diet and I am assuming it would be a good change for all of them to be on, to help the others to possibly avoid this issue in the future? I am keep them on dry and wet food, but he wants me to look into the protein content. I had done some reading in the past couple of days that suggest cutting back on the protein in the feline diet (even with CRF) is not adviseable. As cats need protein in their diet. The important thing to cut back on is the phosphorus, if anything... I read that the need to cut back on protein is better suited for Renal Failure in Canines.... I gently brought this up with my vet, as I did not want him to think that I knew better than him because I read stuff on the internet in a couple of days (when he went through much schooling and has been a vet for a very, very long time). He was very open to hearing what I read up on, as it also allows him to hear new information that is circling... Once again, my awesome verterinarian. He just let me know that cutting back on protein for CRF is what he was told to advise in these situations. Is it possible for this information to have changed since? I am going to check, also, with my pet specialty supply store downtown - they are a whirlwind of knowledge.

Currently they are given Wellness wet food (which I know is great for Jesse) and FROMM 4 Star dry food (which has proven excellent for them so far, but will need to look into a possible switch). FROMM 4 Star also makes Grain Free now and maybe that will be a good switch, or possibly to another brand completely... Thinking "outloud" here.

The term pre renal azotemia means there is a build up of urea, nitrogen, phosphorus in the area around the tubing leading to the kidneys. Renal azotemia meaning this build up is in the kidneys. Renal insufficiency also called kidney failure means the kidneys are not functioning as normal. It's all the same to me :2cents: the difference is just where the problem is physically located.

Ureamia is a term meaning excess build up of urea & other nitrogenous waste products in the blood - this happens cuz the kidneys can't filter them out enough.

For food, there are canned Wellness varieties listed in Duffy's thread which will give you the lowest phos levels. Try to limit/stay away from fish when at all possible it is addiciting to cats & not properly balance for kidney health.
The philosophy of low protein diets is that they are also low fat & phosphorus which also ends up being not very tastey. There is newer research based on the carnivore nature of cats that if you feed a high quality protein, the phosphorus is going to be naturally a bit lower. It's not the protein that causes the majority of the work the kidneys have to do - it's the phosphorus.

chico2
August 1st, 2008, 07:48 AM
Thank you Growler and Dashi,very interesting and educational.important also for us trying to prevent any kidney problems.
Hope the kitty will be ok:fingerscr

sugarcatmom
August 1st, 2008, 11:43 AM
Just to add to Growler's excellent info, my suggestion is to stay away from all dry food, even the grain-free ones. One of the most important issues with kidney health is making sure there is enough water intake to help flush away the toxins. Dry food is not only deplete of moisture in the first place, but it sucks up extra moisture during the digestion process. It just makes no sense to feed kibble and then have to start giving subQ fluids to add back in the lost water intake. As well, the grain-free kibbles are all too high in phosphorus.

dashi
August 1st, 2008, 02:54 PM
Thanks Growler! You are the best! :thumbs up

I have all of our test results back and none of the tests done were a urinalysis. I will ask him about that at our next check up, which I believe should be in 30 days time when this round of meds has finished...

Staying away from fishy foods will be easy, as my cats are really odd and hate fish. They only like chicken, turkey, lamb and duck. I am going to talk to our food specialist tonight and see what they point me towards.

I am currently doing Wellness wet food - same stuff you have been using with Duffy. I have tried Raw before and they hated it. I even tried some feline canned ground tripe and they hated that too. Little fuss pots:) There is a new brand (forget what it is called) that is a canned food that is almost equivalent to Raw, that they spoke to me about last time. I think I will ask more questions about that tonight. I mixed a few in with the Wellness the past few times and they love it.