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Oscar's down by 2 pounds and I'm a wreck!!

rjesak
October 2nd, 2009, 09:14 PM
Took him back to the vet today and he's down to 7.3 (from 9.13 almost his whole life). She gave him a depo shot (12 hour) to try to control his asthma - she can't find anything that's keeping him from eating. She did some blood tests and the liver tests that were a little high last time, came back normal this time but his eosinophils were even higher. She can't take a stool sample because, since he's not eating, he doesn't have any but she really doesn't think it's parasitic.

I get him to take a bit of baby food each day but only a few tablespoons and he won't touch his cat food. I'm off to buy tuna first thing in the morning and, if he doesn't eat in the morning, back to the vet to see about a feeding tube.

I don't know what to do - I'm terrified.

luckypenny
October 2nd, 2009, 09:21 PM
I'm so sorry rjesak, all I can do is send a prayer your way that he regains his appetite really soon and that the vet can figure out what's going on :grouphug:.

growler~GateKeeper
October 2nd, 2009, 11:17 PM
Can you try a couple of different really smelly flavours of other brands things like salmon, rabbit etc?

My cat just got introduced to PureBites Cat treats (http://www.purebites.com/) she went nuts for the Freeze Dried Chicken Breast - they are so easy to crumble ontop of the food to stimulate the appetite.

If you have any human food that Oscar loves ie cheese, chicken, ham etc try tempting him w/that on his food.

An article on Feline asthma here http://www.theveterinarian.com.au/clinicalreview/article702.asp states high eosinophil counts happen partially as a result of them reacting to inflammation.

Some info here on eosinophils and asthma (human but regarding the blood it works mostly the same) http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~aair/eosinophils.htm

:goodvibes: for Oscar - try absolutely everything you can to get him to eat something even if it's just cooked chicken for now.

rjesak
October 2nd, 2009, 11:36 PM
I went out tonight and picked up tuna in oil, cat milk, and some of those fancy feast appetizer things (just the grocery open at this hour). I brought it home and he ate about a quarter of the appetizer thing. They're only a couple of ounces so that's not enough but at least he ate.

It's odd because he would stop eating and walk away and I'd hand it to him again a couple of moments later and he'd eat again. I tried heating it too - someone on this site said they had good luck with that. I put the rest in the fridge and I'll try again in the morning.

We do think the eosinophils are due to the asthma and his breathing aint great. Last time he got a shot, it made a huge difference but, I guess, because this was a low dose, it's not doing as much. In the meantime, I've still got him on Terbutaline and a steroid inhalant so hopefully we can get ahead of this.

He's only ten or eleven and I feel like he's an old man. It's really frightening.

hazelrunpack
October 3rd, 2009, 09:00 AM
I'm glad he ate something--even if it was just a little bit. Sending him lots of :goodvibes: and a :grouphug: for you!

rjesak
October 3rd, 2009, 12:20 PM
So it was back to the vet with Oscar and it was no good news at all. His lungs still look terrible and he's lost another two ounces. They did X-rays of his chest, belly, and abdomen. They said his lungs looked really bad but there was some food in his stomach (I got him to eat another half ounce this morning). They gave him some fluids under his skin since he was a bit dehydrated (shocking).

We're trying a new regimen and if he's not significantly better by Monday it's off to a specialist. He had been on Terbutaline and a prednisone inhaler. We dropped the inhaler and now he's got a new stack.

5mg of oral Prednisone once a day
a bit less than 2mg of Terbutaline once a day
0.17 ml of Cisapride every 8-12 hours (which one???)
2.5 ml of Sucrafulate twice a day

The Pred and the Terbutaline are to try to get his asthma under control. The Cisapride will hopefully get things moving through him if they're not and the Sucrafulate which will hopefully coat his throat and stomach in case he is feeling discomfort that is keeping him from eating.

Now it's back to the vet on Monday, and off to a specialist on Tuesday if he's not significantly better. The vet did get him to eat a little Hill's (I know it's not the best but he ate it and, at this point, I'll let him eat anything he wants) - it was only a couple of bites but still.

Any thoughts and good vibes from all you caring people out there are appreciated... I'm terrified - he's now lost 1/5 of his body weight!

sugarcatmom
October 3rd, 2009, 12:35 PM
Oh no. Sending you and Oscar my best wishes that you get to the bottom of this soon. I can't remember, have the vets tried Oscar on an appetite stimulant? While it's preferable to find out what might be causing the inappetance, sometimes it's necessary to treat the symptoms first and ask questions later.

All the best to you... :grouphug:

rjesak
October 3rd, 2009, 03:45 PM
I asked Dr. K about an appetite stimulant but she wanted to wait until Monday and see if the new meds help at all. He seems pretty excited about the Hill's stuff - he still won't eat very much at one sitting, but I'd say he's eaten an ounce of it today which is more than he's had since Wednesday or Thursday.

He's very, very tired today - maybe all the excitement? I'm not sure. He's usually pretty lethargic, but he's just completely zonked. He's also a little less thirsty - usually he takes a long drink of anything he passes and goes to the water dish regularly - maybe the fluids really made a difference.

I so wish he could talk and tell me how he feels - I'd feel so much better if I really knew! Here's hoping. If we could clear up his lungs or his tummy so I could just focus on one thing to panic about at a time, I'd be a lot happier!

chico2
October 3rd, 2009, 04:17 PM
I have no advice to offer,I just :pray:you and Oscar will get some positive news soon:goodvibes::cat:

sugarcatmom
October 3rd, 2009, 05:37 PM
I'm not sure. He's usually pretty lethargic, but he's just completely zonked. He's also a little less thirsty - usually he takes a long drink of anything he passes and goes to the water dish regularly - maybe the fluids really made a difference.

Has Oscar had any recent blood work to test his glucose levels? The lethargy, dehydration combined with thirst and weight loss can be signs of diabetes, and steroid use can induce diabetes. If that hasn't been done, I'd highly suggest it ASAP.

Glad that he's eating the Hill's. At this point, doesn't matter what it is, as long as he eats it. Something my cat found irresistible when he was sick was canned Medi-Cal Development Formula (kitten food).

ancientgirl
October 3rd, 2009, 06:38 PM
I'm so sorry Oscar is going through this. I'm sending you some positive vibes and he is in my prayers.:pray:

rainbow
October 3rd, 2009, 06:49 PM
Sugarcatmom and Growler are two of the best cat gurus for information. :thumbs up

I have no advice to offer ....just lots of prayers and good wishes. :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: :grouphug:

rjesak
October 3rd, 2009, 08:35 PM
Sugarcatmom and Growler are two of the best cat gurus for information. :thumbs up

I have no advice to offer ....just lots of prayers and good wishes. :pray: :fingerscr :goodvibes: :grouphug:

I know! I would hire them as my vets if I could!! :thumbs up

Originally posted by SugarCatMom
Has Oscar had any recent blood work to test his glucose levels? The lethargy, dehydration combined with thirst and weight loss can be signs of diabetes, and steroid use can induce diabetes. If that hasn't been done, I'd highly suggest it ASAP.

Based on his thirst and the first weight loss I noticed, I had him tested for diabetes the first time I took him in (about two weeks ago, I think). At that point his weight was only (only!!:eek:) down by a pound and he was drinking like crazy. The glucose levels were fine but his liver function was high (not scary high, just high) and his eosiphils were through the ceiling. His tests Friday showed normal liver levels (Yay!!!) but even higher eosiphils. His glucose is still fine.

He's eaten about a third of the 5.5 ounce can of the Hills - it's not enough but it's better than it has been. He REALLY hates the Sucrafulate which smells like bubblegum so I don't blame him :yuck:. The other stuff (the Terbutiline and the Cisapride), I mixed with a bit of the Hills so it's not bad. He hates the Pred quite a lot too but since it's a pill, it's over quickly.

Any suggestions for getting him to fight 2.5 ml (which is A LOT) of Sucrafulate a little less? I think I got more on him than in him.

growler~GateKeeper
October 3rd, 2009, 10:28 PM
0.17 ml of Cisapride every 8-12 hours (which one???)


I would start with every 12 hours if his bowel movements haven't improved in 3 days, call the vet & see if she wants him on it every 8 hours or to try something else. According to this site (http://www.theveterinarian.com.au/clinicalreview/article757.asp) the Cisapride usually takes about 1-2 weeks to start working (though I'd imagine 3-4 days should be a more acceptable timeframe :shrug: :2cents:).

He's also a little less thirsty - usually he takes a long drink of anything he passes and goes to the water dish regularly - maybe the fluids really made a difference.

The subq fluids definately do help with dehydration & will lower the water intake a bit.

Any suggestions for getting him to fight 2.5 ml (which is A LOT) of Sucrafulate a little less? I think I got more on him than in him.

I find it much easier giving liquid meds especially nasty tasting ones when you approach the cat from behind. Instead of facing him where he can back away from you, sit him on a table/bed/couch & stand/sit behind him arms around so he has no where to go, hold his head in one hand and the syringe ready in the other. Pry his mouth open a wee bit using your 4th finger or pinkie of the hand holding the syringe, place the tip of the syringe in the side of the mouth & syringe in the meds.

:goodvibes: Oscar - now start eating! :cat:

rjesak
October 4th, 2009, 09:32 AM
Well, Oscar ate of his own volition at breakfast this morning. Since he ate with the other cats, it's hard to know how much. He won't touch the Hills today! I'll try again later.

The only problem is that, two days after putting him back on it, the reason we stopped the oral prednisone has reared it's very ugly head again and he's being super aggressive with Zander. They had a pretty bad fight this morning which was partially my fault. The aggression had dampened down so much after taking him off the pred, I had usually been able to diffuse the situation by physically getting between them and getting one to back off. Not this morning. They got under a chair and tried to rip each other's eyes out before I could get them separated.

When Oscar was on the oral Pred before, we added Fluoxetine to his daily cocktail but we switched to the inhaled Pred to try to get him off the other two drugs.

Over the past year, we keep trying to get Oscar off the oral Pred but we haven't found a solution that sticks. We'll get him under control with the oral Pred, ramp down the dosage and stick with the Terbutaline and the inhaler and his asthma just ramps right back up in response. Maybe we're just stuck having him on oral Pred and Prozac?? :sad: I hadn't been giving him the Fluoxetine this time round but I guess I'd better put it back on the diet.

Ah well, in the meantime, I've replaced all the Feliway pods that are plugged in around my house and I'll just try to keep them apart. It's difficult without actually locking one of them away.

rjesak
October 4th, 2009, 09:34 AM
And, by the way, thanks Growler. I got the med down him this morning I just worry about plunging the whole syringe full in - 2.5 ml is quite a lot and I'm afraid he'll inhale it. Is that something I need to be concerned about?

sugarcatmom
October 4th, 2009, 12:34 PM
I just worry about plunging the whole syringe full in - 2.5 ml is quite a lot and I'm afraid he'll inhale it. Is that something I need to be concerned about?

I wouldn't plunge the whole amount in at once, just little bits at a time. Give Oscar lots of chances to swallow. Kind of prolongs the experience, unfortunately, but 2.5 ml is a lot to syringe in at one time. Inhalation of liquid meds is a very real problem. Try to aim the syringe into the pocket between his cheek and teeth, not directly down the back of the throat. Here is a great video put out by Cornell University that might be helpful: http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/pet/fhc/liquid_medications

(oh, and I'm glad that his glucose is being monitored! - sorry about the issues you're having with his aggression).

growler~GateKeeper
October 4th, 2009, 05:51 PM
Sorry I should've been clear on the last bit, definately do it in small amounts giving him time to swallow, just don't let go of him in between - you'll likely be chasing him all over the house :rolleyes: trying to give him the rest. Aside from the possibility of inhaling the liquid, if you tried that much at once Oscar would likely attempt to spit it out or just refuse to swallow making a sticky mess all over him & everywhere else :laughing: :o

rjesak
October 4th, 2009, 08:12 PM
Well, at least there's no doubt about the pred being the source of the aggression problems. Every time I went looking for Oscar, he was lying in wait for Zander who spent the day cowering under the bed. Oscar is locked in the bathroom at the moment to give Zander some time to be loose.

Oscar smells an awful lot like that crappy medication since, the first time I gave it to him, I only got about half in his mouth. The second time was much better. The smaller bits does prolong it, but it's less unpleasant in a way as well.

Either way, if Oscar has the energy to stalk Zander, he must be feeling better and that's a good start. It's back to the vet at lunchtime tomorrow for a checkup and to see how these meds seem to be working.

Thanks so much for the advice. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I'll keep you posted.

growler~GateKeeper
October 4th, 2009, 08:37 PM
:goodvibes: for the checkup

rjesak
October 5th, 2009, 08:24 AM
Argh. Just had to lock Oscar in the bathroom because he was stalking Zander again. Sheesh. This is no way to live for either of them. Gave him the Fluoxetine (Prozac) this morning. It's supposed to be tuna flavored but he despises the stuff. I wish I could explain things to him: "If you behave yourself with Zander, you don't have to take this nasty medication and you won't be locked in the bathroom."

Unfortunately, I haven't managed to convince any of my cats anything that way. If that worked, I'd be able to explain to Zander that he's twice Oscar's size and could defend himself easily if need be but he's still terrified of him.

Oh well. Off to the vet to what just HAS to be good news (although I'm not confident - his breathing was so bad last night, I considered taking him to the ER). Better this morning though...

Ugh, this sucks. Maybe I'll give all my darling kitties away to good homes and they can live on healthy and happy in my head for ever and ever!!!

ancientgirl
October 5th, 2009, 08:39 AM
How long have you been giving him the prozac?

rjesak
October 5th, 2009, 09:36 AM
We put him on the prozac originally about four months ago but I took him off it when we stopped using the oral Prednisone (since that was causing the problem) about a month ago. I didn't start using the Prozac with the oral Pred on Saturday so he's only just gotten it today this time and was on it about three months previously.

ancientgirl
October 5th, 2009, 09:41 AM
When I put Czarina on prozac, the vet told me specifically it did take at least 4 weeks for it to start working on her, then I had to ween her off of it. Could be Oscar has none of the medication left in his system so giving him a new pill won't do anything at first until he's been on it for a few weeks.

rjesak
October 5th, 2009, 10:32 AM
When I put Czarina on prozac, the vet told me specifically it did take at least 4 weeks for it to start working on her, then I had to ween her off of it. Could be Oscar has none of the medication left in his system so giving him a new pill won't do anything at first until he's been on it for a few weeks.

Yeah, I am sadly aware. :frustrated: I've been following him around all morning trying to distract him from attacking Zander - which he clearly wants to do! It took about two weeks for it to work last time and I'm not even sure he'll be on the Pred that long - it's sure not helping as much as I'd hoped! :sad:

The last month had been awful nice though - couple of growling matches were as bad as it got and then yesterday it blew up again. :wall: I just hope we get him well - I don't like the aggression but if he's breathing and eating, I'll deal with it!

ancientgirl
October 5th, 2009, 10:37 AM
Maybe ask about Xanax. You would not have to give it to him daily, and only when you see him acting aggressive.

I give a very small amount to Vlad, as prescribed by the vet, when I have to take him in because he gets so stressed out and very aggressive.

rjesak
October 5th, 2009, 12:42 PM
So we're back from the vet with good news and bad news.

The good news is that Oscar has gained one whole ounce!!! :cloud9: I'm not sure how good this is since he's down by two pounds, but I'll take what I can get!!!

The bad news is that the oral Pred did not help his asthma at all. :frustrated: Not even a little. We left the vet with a prescription for Cyproheptadine as an appetite stimulant and the lucky Oscar gets to do without the oral Pred, Fluoxetine, the Cisapride, and the Sucrafulate. We also got a referral to an internal specialist (we don't really have a lung specialist).

Until that appointment, his cocktail has changed to continue the Terbutaline, give him the inhaled Albuterol once daily, the inhaled Prednisone once daily, and add in 2mg of the Cyproheptadine twice a day. I think that as much as Oscar dislikes the inhaler, giving up on the pink stuff (the Sucrafulate, I believe) will make it all worth it.

Lordy, wish me luck with the specialist - I can hear him breathing all the way down the hall as we speak. My appointment is for Thursday although they said they have emergency care if we need it. It's going to cost a minor fortune but if we get his asthma under control, I might be able to sleep at night and not worry about him 24 hours a day, so it's worth every penny!!!

ancientgirl
October 5th, 2009, 12:53 PM
Poor guy. At least he did gain some weight. For how long do the inhalations help him?

rjesak
October 5th, 2009, 01:03 PM
For how long do the inhalations help him?

In all honesty, I've never felt they've helped at all. :sad: It's one of the reasons that his asthma has me so worried.

Up until now, the only thing that made a really big difference was an oxygen cage that he was put in when I took him to the ER last year. Can I even GET an oxygen cage? Erg. I can't even think about it.

ancientgirl
October 5th, 2009, 01:16 PM
Oh man, that's terrible. Hopefully the internist can help. I'm guessing you've been through Frits the Brave's site?

Love4himies
October 5th, 2009, 01:19 PM
I was looking at that site, AG, looks like it has a lot of good resources. :thumbs up

ancientgirl
October 5th, 2009, 01:24 PM
Yeah, lots of really good information. Here's the link: Fritz the Brave (http://www.fritzthebrave.com/)

rjesak
October 5th, 2009, 01:26 PM
Yeah, lots of really good information. Here's the link: Fritz the Brave (http://www.fritzthebrave.com/)

I found this site after our ER trip last year. Tons of good information and led me to the Aerokat which made using the inhaler so much better... Well, for me, anyway - I don't think he likes it much better! :D

growler~GateKeeper
October 5th, 2009, 10:25 PM
Great news about the weight gain :thumbs up

Harpsie's Website also has a page on asthma http://harpsie.com/asthma.htm with his owners' experiences. Included is information on using acupuncture to lessen the symptoms of asthma - something to think about (my cat sees a physiotherapist for a similiar type of treatment called Intra Muscular Stimulation {IMS} for her kidney issues.)

:goodvibes: for the appt w/the internist :fingerscr the find something to help

rjesak
October 8th, 2009, 08:53 PM
What a horrible day this was. At the end of it, Oscar is ok for now but we surely didn't get the "Hoo-ray! He's fixed." solution I was hoping for (ok, I didn't really think that's what would happen but I was hoping. :sad:

Anyway, by the time we got there, I was frantic because Oscar's breathing got so labored and short in the car he was panting and gasping - the place is about 45 minutes away. We got him there, and I tearfully told the lady at the front desk that he needed help like NOW so she took him straight back to an Oxygen cage. We waited almost an hour for him to calm down enough for the doctor to examine him. I only cried a little during that hour! :cry:

The final result is, yeah, it's probably asthma. :shrug: It's a particularly stubborn asthma since it's not responding very well to the typical meds. He changed up the meds and gave me the name of a holistic vet with a mobile unit who might come to me :fingerscr (he doesn't know if she travels as far south as I am).

While we were there, he gave Oscar an IV Terbutaline (and some Valium to calm him down), and a Dexamethazone shot (three times the one given him by my vet on Saturday).

He prescribed an antibiotic (25 mg of Doxycycline twice a day) and another form of Singulair (Acu something - he called in the prescription and I haven't picked it up yet). He'll stay on the Pred inhaler, and the Albuterol inhaler, as well as the oral Terbutaline.

He said that other than that, we've pretty much tried the gamut of typical asthma meds - which is why he recommended the homeopathic lady. I'm very excited about her - well, I'm much too miserable and exhausted to be excited but once I calm down I will be.

The trip home was horrible. Oscar was breathing much, much clearer but he was completely freaked out and it took us three hours :eek: because of an accident on the main highway. His breathing still sounds a little congested :sad::sad::sad: now and then and, to be honest, with all the drugs in him, I was hoping for a perfectly breathing, slightly druggy Oscar, but he was waaay to stressed for a little Valium to calm him.

Anyway, I'm trying to be optimistic. I told the doctor that I can live through Oscar's death but I can't live through watching him not breathe to death. So now, I think I have to just go to bed and hope for some improvements.

OH OH OH, There IS some really fantastic news though - he's gained 5 ounces so he's up to 8 pounds and 4 ounces! :D:laughing::D Not quite where he needs to be yet, but that's about an ounce a day he's gaining so I'm much less worried about that side of things.

That's all for now, folks. Thanks so much for all your support everyone. :grouphug: I just can't get over how awful this has been. I've always had cats that grew really old pretty happily and then told me when they were ready to go. I've never had to watch one waste the way he is and it's just the worst. I don't know what I'd do without this board.

hazelrunpack
October 8th, 2009, 09:10 PM
I'm glad he's at least stable and you're able to get a little down time. Sounds like a harrowing day :grouphug:

And he gained 5 ounces! :highfive:

I hope the holistic vet works out! When will you find out if she'll come as far as your place? Sure would be easier for Oscar to be treated at home.

:goodvibes: for continued improvement from here on out! :grouphug:

growler~GateKeeper
October 8th, 2009, 10:46 PM
Oh man what a day :grouphug: That's an awful lot of meds for the little guy :sad: but yay :clap: on the weight gain :thumbs up

I do think a homeopath will help (my cat's vet is a homeopath), Oscar may also have something else going on that's triggering/contributing to both the asthma and the aggression & she will ask a lot of questions about his personality, likes, dislikes, relationship with the other cats, as well as medical history to get an overall picture of what is going on. :fingerscr she will be able to come soon

ancientgirl
October 9th, 2009, 07:05 AM
At least he's stable now and gained weight. Hopefully the medication the vet gave will help and once you see the other vet they can give you a better idea of how to treat him and make him more comfortable.

:pray:

rjesak
October 9th, 2009, 08:29 AM
Well, Oscar is already wheezing again which just freaks me out. I had a discussion with the homeopathic vet and she said that she'd love to come down and see Oscar but she generally finds it difficult to work with patients who are on standard medications. Her concern here is that taking Oscar off of his meds could put him in a life threatening situation.

She did recommend that I go through the Fancy Feast foods I provide and make sure that they're grain-free. I know they used to be (that's one of the reasons I use it) but not all of the flavors are and when my mom shops for me, she may not know what to look for. The doctor said that she's seen this make a really big difference in cats with asthma.

Anyway, I'm emailing her to have her come see Oscar in any case and I can definitely use her help with the aggression issues (although without the oral pred, there hasn't been a problem).

Unfortunately, he's not eating this morning. I feel like he had such a bad day yesterday that I'll give him a pass for a while before I start pressing him.

Love4himies
October 9th, 2009, 08:45 AM
I didn't know food could cause an asthma attack :eek:. I thought it was air borne allergents that did.

I hope you can find out soon what is triggering them :pray:

rjesak
October 10th, 2009, 06:50 AM
Well, yesterday was kind of awful too although Oscar is breathing very well still. :clap: I went and found a cowering Oscar and shoved three pills down his throat and gave him two separate inhalers in the morning. He spent the day barely moving except to feebly move away from me whenever I came near him. :sad: About 5pm, he came down to get some loving so I petted him and loved him until he couldn't stand it and then, about an hour later, he sat like a limp dish rag in my lap while I shoved four pills down his throat and gave him the two inhalers again. :sad::sad:He's avoiding me again.

He turned his nose up at the baby food I had been using to get him to take the Terbutaline so that's a pill he hadn't had to get fed forcefully before. I DID have to give him the appetite stimulant because he's been so tired and fearful that he's been turning away from meals. I've tried to keep a plate of food near him, but I don't know if it's he or the other cats who eat it.

I was very very miserable last night. I feel better today but I haven't chased him down to do terrible things to yet. :frustrated:

So anyone have any ideas about these pills? He won't take the baby food he used to eat and there's not much "special" food he likes. I'll try some sour cream this morning but this many pills can't all be mixed in stuff. :shrug: Pill pockets worked for about a week but then he stopped eating them too. If I could just do one pill... Could I powder them and maybe combine them into one somehow? Any thoughts? :confused::confused: It's killing me to force FOUR pills down him.:cry:

Winston
October 10th, 2009, 06:59 AM
Your poor guy! I bought this thing at the vets a couple of years ago because my little 6 pounder Tabitha is horrible to pill...I actually hope I never have to again! It places the pill on the end of something like a thin tube and then you place that in the mouth and let go.

here is a link i found when I goggled it but I bet if you called the vet they probably sell them...i think mine was around $7.00

Goog luck I feel your pain ! sending you some good vibes for your guy! :thumbs up

http://www.felinecrf.org/medicating_your_cat.htm#pillshooter

Cindy

rjesak
October 10th, 2009, 08:12 AM
Thanks Winston - that may be the way to go with the Doxy! :thumbs up Oscar isn't usually so bad to pill but FOUR!?! I'd be pissed off too if it were me! :mad::yuck:

This morning I did simplify a bit. I crushed the Terbutaline and the Accolate in a bit of sour cream. He wouldn't willingly eat it, but I just spread it across the roof of his mouth. Not as invasive as pilling him and I think he didn't hate it as much. :goodvibes:

The Doxycycline is problematic. It's a coated pill but, of course, I'm not giving him a whole pill, I'm giving him a quarter, so there's a slick coating over this yellow nasty tasting powder. That one is really difficult to get in him - he seems to be really good at spitting it up. :frustrated:

He's handling the inhalers better today. He doesn't like them but he'll sit there for them for five to six seconds which is enough.

He's as clear as a bell though which is all good and he felt downright heavy when I picked him up today. :clap::clap::clap: I got rid of any of the foods which had grain in them (there weren't many - I went grain free a while back but when mom shopped for me, she didn't always know what to look for). He is now 100% grain free.

I got a bit of kitten food. I wouldn't normally, but I figured he could use the extra fat and calories. Am I wrong? I'm not really sure what the differences are between mass produced kitten food and cat food are. :confused: Right now, these are still all Fancy Feast varieties. Although I'll probably transition them to a more holistic option, I'm unwilling to mess with Oscar's food too much until he's back up to weight.

Once he is, I may go with the option recommended by the holistic vet which is this stuff called Instincts (www.felinefuture.com). This is an additive for people who want to do homemade cat food. I'd always thought you had to have plenty of spare time for homemade but this stuff makes it easy. Has anyone heard of it or used it?

ancientgirl
October 10th, 2009, 10:50 AM
I've been pilling Vlad this week also, and it's very easy for me, thanks to his favorite cheese! I buy this semi-soft cheese called Amish Swiss that he and the others love. I give him one pill and I split it, then I take each half and mold some cheese around it. I give him a plain cheese piece first, then the cheesey pills, then a plain piece.

Maybe something like that will help.:shrug:

sugarcatmom
October 10th, 2009, 11:32 AM
I was going to recommend the cheese trick too. That sometimes works for Aztec, who ranks up there as one of the worst cats on the planet to pill. Coating the pill with butter can help it slide down the throat better, although then you have the added challenge of working with a slippery pill. Make sure to give a treat of some kind after pilling, or else syringe a bit of water or tuna juice down Oscar's throat to prevent any pills from getting stuck.

For some other food options to try, can you find canned Wellness Kitten anywhere? It's grain-free and higher in fat/calories than Fancy Feast.

The Feline Future product is a good one if Oscar likes it (many cats do). Just mix with raw meat, no bones or other supplements required. Very easy.

As for the food allergy connection, some other things that could be asthma triggers besides grains are fish, yeast, dairy, soy. Fish is a very common ingredient in many Fancy Feast flavours, even the ones that don't indicate that (such as Tender Beef Feast). I don't want to make you paranoid about everything you're feeding, just something to keep in mind. I hope Oscar continues to gain weight and you can get his asthma under control. Good luck with the holistic vet!

krdahmer
October 10th, 2009, 11:37 AM
I didn't know food could cause an asthma attack :eek:. I thought it was air borne allergents that did.

I hope you can find out soon what is triggering them :pray:

Yep, it can, in people too. I imagine my mom could sympathize best with you, it's really frustrating and scary to not be able to help your baby breathe! Sounds like you're making some progress though, if he just started the singulair I know that when I did it took a couple of weeks to see a difference in my lungs.

Other things that could be bothering him asthma wise (I'm sure you've already heard this from the vets but I want to help!) Carpeting, small fibers get in the air especially if it's old carpet.... laundry detergent/softener, anything scented/dyed....mold, dust etc.... and a huge one is air fresheners of any kind or scented candles....basically anything that triggers allergies will also trigger asthma. And the holistic lady is right on with the grains too, also I'd try using a single source protein (only one kind of meat-no broths of others etc) for his food if you can without causing him to stop eating again.... I found duck was good for the allergies or lamb/rabbit. Might work for asthma too.:shrug: Do you have an air cleaner? They can make a difference too.

Lots of :goodvibes: :pray: from all of us here:pawprint: that you find a regimen that works for Oscar, asthma is no fun for anyone.:grouphug:

rjesak
October 10th, 2009, 07:22 PM
:thankyou: :thankyou: :thankyou:

So much good information!!! :D

Oscar's funny. For a while I could count on him eating sour cream, then he just went off it. After that I could count on him eating the baby food. Yep, no more. Now he'll eat mayo and cream cheese. :shrug:

It's funny you should mention fish being a potential problem. I actually usually AIM for the seafood flavors because my cats seem to prefer them over the beef and chicken flavors (except in human food where they always prefer chicken).

I'll check my pet store for the Wellness tomorrow. :fingerscr

Oscar's breathing is still free and clear - no wheezing at all. :cloud9: I haven't needed to give him the appetite stimulant so that's one pill gone. :cloud9::cloud9: With the Terbutaline and the Accolate combined into a finger full of sour cream, I only have to shove the Doxy down his throat (this sounds gross but I tasted some of the powder in the medicine bottle in order to see and no wonder he hates it - the stuff is really dreadful:yuck:). I'm going to try the cheese trick tomorrow but I'm not very hopeful - Oscar doesn't just chew and swallow most of the time. It's certainly worth a try though.

He's a little less like a wet dishrag today but still very, very dozy and sleepy. I'm thinking that's a side effect of one of the drugs. I can live with a breathing sleeping cat though!

Thanks so much for your support everyone. I really, honestly don't know what I'd've done without it. This last week has been so stressful and you all have just been so compassionate... Thanks again.:grouphug:

ancientgirl
October 10th, 2009, 07:43 PM
It's funny you should mention fish being a potential problem. I actually usually AIM for the seafood flavors because my cats seem to prefer them over the beef and chicken flavors (except in human food where they always prefer chicken).



When it was just Vlad and Oksana, I used to buy fish flavors about 90% of the time too. It's the ones they loved the most. Then one day I noticed they both started this non-stop itching! I did a bit of asking around here and did some searching on the internet and saw that it could actually be bad for them.

As soon as I stopped the daily fish, they stopped the itching. I give them treats now and then, like a can of tuna or some flavor of fish as a little snack, but no more than maybe once a month and certainly not their main food.

Maybe that's one of Oscar's problems.

growler~GateKeeper
October 11th, 2009, 12:28 AM
Could I powder them and maybe combine them into one somehow? Any thoughts? :confused::confused: It's killing me to force FOUR pills down him.:cry:

Best to ask the vets about crushing the pills as some are meant to be swallowed whole in order to make the release time for the meds longer

The Doxycycline is problematic. It's a coated pill but, of course, I'm not giving him a whole pill, I'm giving him a quarter, so there's a slick coating over this yellow nasty tasting powder. That one is really difficult to get in him - he seems to be really good at spitting it up. :frustrated:

Are you putting the pill in his mouth, holding it closed & waiting for him to swallow?

For the 1/4 doxy dab a bit of butter/soft cheese on the cut sides so he doesn't taste the powder & try the tip below.

The easiest way to pill a cat:
Sit the cat on the floor in the kitchen facing the cupboards, pills at the ready on the counter above, crouch behind him w/your legs on either side to block escape. One hand holding the head still, pill between the thumb & forefinger of the other hand, use your ring or middle finger, of the pill hand, to pry open the mouth. With forefinger on the pill place it on the roof of the mouth & slide it all the way down the back of the throat. This way there is no chance for them to spit it out, and it's over much faster. Treat afterwards.

My grrl gets 4 supplements pilled per day (2 before breakfast 2 before dinner) takes about 2 seconds. :cat:

rjesak
October 11th, 2009, 07:08 AM
Are you putting the pill in his mouth, holding it closed & waiting for him to swallow?

Well, I am, but he has this trick... It's easy enough to get the pill in his mouth but he's really good at making me THINK he's swallowed it :o or, since this one tastes so bad, I'll be holding his mouth shut thinking he's going to swallow it and he'll start drooling and foaming the med out. The butter solution is worth a try though. SCM mentioned that, and I think I'll try it this morning.

Most of the pills aren't a PROBLEM to get in him - the Terbutaline and the Accolade he swallows ok, it's just that he (like most cats, I think) doesn't much like being forced to swallow a pill so I'm feeling really bad - here he is feeling pretty crappy and I'm doing all this horrid stuff to him. :sad: I know it's for his own good and all, I just feel like he's having a pretty miserable time of late and I don't want his life to be like that.

mikischo
October 11th, 2009, 08:28 AM
Another idea: Are some of the pills quite small? One thing I tried that helped when my cat had to take more than one kind of the smaller pills was, I picked up some empty gel capsules from the drug store. For my last kitty, I got size 2 but he was a fairly large cat. I don't think I would recommend anything bigger than a size 2. The capsule sizings are such that the larger the size the smaller the capsule (size 3 is smaller than size 2, for example). You may then be able to combine more than one of the smaller pills into one capsule and the result will be fewer times having to pill him. You may have to request that the drugstore order in the correct size as many do not keep the smaller sizes in regular stock. Many drugstores will order in if you request it and it usual only takes a day. Some people mentioned holding his mouth closed waiting for him to swallow. When I pill a cat I have always quickly started stroking him under his chin several times in a downward direction after putting the pill to the back of his mouth rather than holding his mouth shut. He will automatically hold his mouth shut and his head will be automatically tilted in an upward direction while being stroked helping ensure that the pill would be swallowed. The bonus is he might just think he is getting some lovin'. Most cats love being stroked under the chin (few like their mouth being held shut). I have always found this to be the best method for me and the only time it failed was if I didn't get the pill far enough back in his mouth in the first place. Hope this helps.

Love4himies
October 11th, 2009, 09:19 AM
I hope you can keep his breathing clear :pray:

I don't have any suggestions on pilling a kitty, but I do use a syringe of a bit of watered down favourite food to help them swallow and wash the taste out of their mouth after they get their pill.

rjesak
October 12th, 2009, 07:44 AM
Oscar's doing well this morning. His breathing is still clear although it sounds a bit like his nose is stuffed up. :confused:

Anyway, I thought after all of your help, support, and wisdom, you should at least see a picture of the boy you're helping out so much. :thankyou: again.

ancientgirl
October 12th, 2009, 08:08 AM
Oh wow, what a handsome boy he is!!!!:flirt:

Winston
October 12th, 2009, 08:41 AM
OMG what a beauty! Glad to hear things are still going okay!

hazelrunpack
October 12th, 2009, 08:49 AM
Oh, he is a handsome Dude, rjesak!! :flirt: He looks very wise.

I'm glad he's feeling so much better. :goodvibes:

chico2
October 12th, 2009, 08:50 AM
What a beauty Oscar is:pray:he continues doing good:fingerscr

rjesak
October 12th, 2009, 11:00 AM
Back to the vet for a checkup and he's doing great!! He's up to 8 pounds, 9 ounces so he's gained back almost a pound of the lost weight! :cloud9::cloud9:

We decided to add Dexamethasone to his cocktail but as an injection. He'll prefer that to yet ANOTHER pill. Hopefully we can get him off at least one of the inhalers.

We're also going to take him to the vet every few weeks - maybe we can catch the problem before it starts until waiting until he's wheezing and trying to clear it up then.

The only problem is that I don't like how many meds he's on. I'm hoping to get it down to the Terbutaline and Dexamethasone daily and the inhaler as needed... I don't know about the Accolate - maybe he'll have to stay on that. That's for allergy so I don't know.

Oh well, I just feel so much better about things. He's gaining weight - I'm just SO happy!!! :laughing:

ancientgirl
October 12th, 2009, 11:12 AM
http://friendsforever.foren-city.de/images/smiles/a084.gifThat's great!

Maybe the allergies is something you can work out with a change of food, so that would be one less medication for him.

I wish Oscar continued good luck!

mikischo
October 12th, 2009, 12:00 PM
Oscar is a beautiful boy.:lovestruck:

Glad to hear he is doing better and has gained weight. :goodvibes: for continuing improvements.

rjesak
October 13th, 2009, 06:11 AM
So Oscar's wheezing this morning. It's not bad but it's there and it's the first time since the horror show on Thursday. I wonder what could have happened since Thursday... Does that imply that it IS an allergen or does that imply that his asthma is just that bad?

All the meds he was given on Thursday should have worn off by Friday/Saturday so it's not that there's a med missing, right?

I've gotten rid of the grain in his diet (most of the fish but not all yet). I've got a HEPA downstairs, maybe I need one for my bedroom as well (upstairs so not covered by the very good expensive one downstairs). I'm on that.

So here it is - should I just expect occasional wheezing or is this something in the household... If it IS something in the household, how do I figure out what? :frustrated::frustrated::frustrated:

Love4himies
October 13th, 2009, 08:27 AM
Ahhh, crap . What about kitty litter? Do you put any additives into your carpet or furniture? BTW, I can no longer use any wheat based litter in my house. DH who has allergies would get so congested while I was using it for my foster kittens.

Do you have a room you can keep him in for a few days with the hepa filter going and no change in food? Preferably a room that doesn't have carpet or too much furniture. That way if it is airborne, then he will start getting better. If not, it could be food related.

Good luck.

ancientgirl
October 13th, 2009, 08:32 AM
Ahhh, crap . What about kitty litter? Do you put any additives into your carpet or furniture? BTW, I can no longer use any wheat based litter in my house. DH who has allergies would get so congested while I was using it for my foster kittens.



L4H, what do you use? I use Swheat Scoop and Oksana often has sneezing fits. Wonder if that may have something to do with it. :sorry::offtopic:

Love4himies
October 13th, 2009, 08:34 AM
:sorry::offtopic: Yup, that is the one. It actually made Rosebud sneeze a lot too. DH couldn't even go in the basement while I was using it, so as soon as Rosebud was old enough, I changed back to Max Scoop and no more problems.

rjesak
October 13th, 2009, 02:03 PM
I have two boxes with paper pellet litter and the others have Swheat Scoop. I'm trying to switch them over but it's a wrench - I don't like the paper as much as the Swheat Scoop but it stands to reason that if he's allergic to the wheat in the food, he would be to the litter as well. We're getting there slowly.

He's stopped wheezing now. Of course, now, we're down in the main part of the house - the wheezing was in my bedroom. No carpets in there but a wide open window and no HEPA (yet - I have one on order). I'm thinking maybe I need to focus on my bedroom. Could it just be the temperature? It's cold in there - could that induce wheezing? :confused:

Another small issue - the dexamethasone we gave him yesterday is causing some aggressiveness. It's not as bad as the prednisone but I just recognized that a behavior I had been taking for granted is almost surely a reaction to the dexa. When I got Anya (about two years younger than Oscar), she was aged incorrectly so she went into heat before I got her fixed. I took her in and got her aborted and fixed, but Oscar seemed to get the idea that she was open for business. Last night, he pinned her down and tried to get jiggy about ten times. Now, he doesn't have the required equipment for jigginess and Anya can take care of herself, but this is aggression, isn't it? He's only attacked Zander once today but now I wonder if the dexa is a good choice.

Argh. If it's not one thing, it's another. At least he's breathing clearly again. I can't wait to get the HEPA purifier for my bedroom!

ancientgirl
October 13th, 2009, 02:42 PM
He's stopped wheezing now. Of course, now, we're down in the main part of the house - the wheezing was in my bedroom. No carpets in there but a wide open window and no HEPA (yet - I have one on order). I'm thinking maybe I need to focus on my bedroom. Could it just be the temperature? It's cold in there - could that induce wheezing? :confused:



Don't know if it would be the same for cats, but when I find my asthma more difficult to deal with when it's warmer and humid.

chico2
October 13th, 2009, 04:01 PM
rjesak,I have 3 neutered males and one of them(Rocky)tries to get his way with Chico,but he's quickly rebuffed,I don't think I would call that aggression.
But of course,Oscar is on so much meds,it's very possible they alter his behaviour+the stress of getting him to take his meds.
I still use the oldfashioned clumping clay with mine,have tried all kinds of others hoping it would work,but I am using clay again,as dustfree as it can get.

growler~GateKeeper
October 14th, 2009, 12:35 AM
Oscar is a handsome boy :lovestruck: WTG on the weight gain :thumbs up

I have two boxes with paper pellet litter and the others have Swheat Scoop. I'm trying to switch them over but it's a wrench - I don't like the paper as much as the Swheat Scoop but it stands to reason that if he's allergic to the wheat in the food, he would be to the litter as well.

Have you tried pine? I use Feline Fresh Pine Pellets (http://www.planetwiseproducts.com/products.htm), my mum uses their clumping. The stuff is awesome :thumbs up and they have a frequent buyer program :D

rjesak
October 14th, 2009, 08:53 AM
Have you tried pine? I use Feline Fresh Pine Pellets (http://www.planetwiseproducts.com/products.htm), my mum uses their clumping. The stuff is awesome :thumbs up and they have a frequent buyer program :D

With six cats, a frequent buyer program is a pretty big plus. Maybe I'll try that - I'm not loving the pellets. As long as it's low dust...

growler~GateKeeper
October 14th, 2009, 10:36 PM
There's no dust :D. If you don't like the pellets, they have a clumping version (http://www.planetwiseproducts.com/felineSc.htm)