At my wits end...
I am a newbie to this message board. However, I am not a newbie when it comes to my cat Samson, a DLH, declawed fixed male senior mostly indoor (99% of his life has been indoor) with a few health concerns.
My cat is 14 years old and he's an excellent fellow. He is a large cat but not in the way you are thinking. He measures 24 inches long (yes you read that correctly) and weighs between 9.4kg and 9.9 kg, at least for the past 4 months.
He is an excellent companion to all in his family. He is a little large still for his frame, but we're working on trimming him down, mostly so that he can have a better quality life into his twilight years.
When he was 5, he almost died due to blockage - twice. It was a close call but after a stay at the vet's for about a week, he recovered. He was on a special diet for years, Hill's C/D and it did wonders for him. Until he was fed human food by my parents. Yes, I know its a no-no and I fought with my parents for years about it and only since November 2012, has he been human food free.
I won't bore you with his entire life story, but, I will disclose some information that I feel is important.
He is still overweight and as such, he's on Hill's metabolic dry food. According to my vet, he needs to be around the 7-7.5 kg weight range, in order to offset the pain he experiences from his IVDD. Although not severe, it did cause Samson to develop the hunch back and it definitely did cause him to become constipated from the stress of the pain. And therein lies his two biggest health issues.
I cannot afford to have the surgery to correct the IVDD in his lower back. Part of me doesn't want to do it either, well, because he is old and I know he hates going to the vet, period.
As such, he is on metacam for cats (I know, I know) and he also takes lactulose for his stool issues.
His blood work shows he is in the healthy range for every single measurable, EXCEPT glucose, where, he is slightly low (2.8 mmol/L) versus the healthy range (3.5-9.4 mmol/L).
So, there it is my pet's health history in a nutshell. He still grooms himself regularly, and he does get to go outside in our fenced in backyard with supervision almost everyday for exercise. He is allowed to eat cat grass and its a better option than lawn grass which he used to devour. He also does vomit from time to time but since we've got him on the lactulose, he only vomits 2-3 times a month, which according to my vet is actually "normal."
Can anyone recommend better, safer and healthier option than Metacam? I am also reluctant to take Samson off lactulose until I find a better option for him with respect to that too. Believe me when I tell you, I have spent A LOT of money on my cat from Dec 2012 to just recently. If I didn't love him, I wouldn't have gone to these lengths to help him but I also know that cat lovers and cat owners in the know are good people and any information about healthier options would be greatly appreciated.