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Old June 13th, 2007, 04:00 PM
PonyDiva PonyDiva is offline
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heading to see the vet

Well, we're off to see the vet this afternoon with our cat Jingle. She's 10 and has visibly lost weight. She's usually kind of sausage-ish. I'm scared I've turned her off my food and it's all my fault.

With my cats being kinda chubby, I introduced Purina One weight control dry food to my 3 cats who usually get Iams regular. I mixed the two foods then had trouble getting the same Purina One I'd bought before, so I didn't think much of it and just bought a different type of Purina One dry but didn't mix it with the Iams b/c by this time the pet food scare was on and the foods were hard to get. Yeah, great timing, eh?

So about 4 weeks ago I think oo, look at Jingle, that weight control stuff is working, she's lost weight.

Then I notice, hey, she's lost quite a bit of weight.

Then I start actually taking note of if she's coming to the bowls when I feed them and she's not.

I then mixed in some Iams with the Purina One dry food b/c I wasn't sure she was eating. Two Sundays ago I said to my hubby that I was worried that she wasn't eating as she was looking skinnier. So I bought some wet food that I know she likes and has eaten in the past. She walked up to it and sniffed it and I could see her salivate, and then she turned her head and walked away. That killed me. So I left it that night and the next day I decided I'd force feed her a teaspoon of wet food. She was fine with it. I did that until last Thursday and then let her be thinking let's see if she's eating and I'm not over-reacting.

Well, I'm not convinced she is eating so we're off to the vet in about 1/2 hr to see what's going on.

I'm just so scared (1) I did it to her by changing her food, and (2) crazy bills and no suitable outcome. Like what kind of price do you put on your favourite pet? I can't, but I can't spend a bundle (which to me is over $500) on her either (b/c of finances) and that makes me feel awful and guilty.

I guess I'm writing b/c I feel awful and I need help with my feelings. I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that we can give her a vitamin booster and maybe the vet can suggest some ways to inspire her appetite and if that doesn't work, well, we'll go from there.

Wish us luck.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 04:22 PM
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I'm sorry about Jingle Is she stressed at all? When our critters go to the vet to either be boarded or have to stay for health reasons they refuse to eat there. The only way they eat there is when I physically feed it to them (I visit every day when they are there for health reasons). Have you tried chicken or fish? If you microwave it - or canned food - it makes it smellier and the cats really take to it a lot easier. Hopefully your vet can get to the bottom of this!
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Old June 13th, 2007, 06:24 PM
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I hope that Jingle is ok . How did the vet visit go?
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Old June 13th, 2007, 10:05 PM
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How is Jingle tonight, PonyDiva? What did the vet say?

And welcome to the board, by the way. I wish it were under less stressful circumstances for you.
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Old June 14th, 2007, 01:14 PM
PonyDiva PonyDiva is offline
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Thumbs up update

Hi all. Seems like a nice group here.

K, so the vet wanted to do blood work and xrays and about $500 worth of tests. We suggested fatty liver disease b/c she'd gone off her food after we changed it and we'd had a previous cat suffer from that (not knowing then what was going on with her), so that's what we think it is.

The vet had last seen her in 2003 for shots (in btwn she'd gone to a different vet for and according to the records she'd lost 3.5 pounds which is a lot for a little cat. She was 12 lbs and now weighs in at 8.6 pounds. It doesn't sound like much but she's noticeably skinny.

We paid our $67 fee for having the vet look her over and said that we'd increase her force-feeding slowly up to a can a day. The vet said it can take up to 4-8 weeks to simulate appetite. That's a long time! So we said we'd get up to the can a day by Monday and once we're there try that for 2-3 weeks, monitoring her closely, and see how she does.

If she looks worse, then we'll come back in and go for the testing. If she improves or, better yet, her appetite comes back, then all's well.

So I guess we'll wait and see. I can say that after I got home last night and fed Jingle about 2.5 tbsps of wet food that this morning she was looking perkier and purring, so that's a good thign. I'm going to keep a really, really close eye on her and see how it goes. I'll keep you updated.
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Old June 14th, 2007, 01:28 PM
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I hope this works and Jingle gets better quick!
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Old June 14th, 2007, 02:39 PM
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Hi there, sorry to hear about your kitty. Having dealt with inappetant cats a few times, I totally know what you’re going through. I thought I’d give you some links to check out, maybe there’s some info there that could help you get through this. I also have a couple of questions: did your vet mention appetite stimulants at all? One in particular, which is actually an antihistamine for people, can sometimes be quite effective. It’s called cyproheptadine (aka Periactin). I would also be worried about nausea, which becomes a vicious circle where the cat gets nauseous because it hasn’t eaten, then doesn’t eat because it feels nauseous. Your vet should be able to give you something for that as well.

With fatty liver possibly in the picture, it’s really important that your cat starts getting enough calories and nutrients. What food is it that you’re force-feeding? According to the calculations on the Veterinary Information Network, a 9lb cat would need 190 calories/day for it’s resting energy requirements, and between 240-320 cal/day for maintenance energy requirements. Depending on what food it is, one can a day may not be enough (for example, Hill’s A/D – frequently used for anorexia - has 180 cal/can). There is a prescription food by Eukanuba called Maximum Calorie that has 340 cal/can, maybe your vet can get that for you to try.

You’ll want to watch Jingle for any signs of jaundice, at which point I’d highly recommend the placement of a feeding tube. Check the whites of her eyes and the insides of her ears for yellowing. Make sure she doesn’t get dehydrated, which will make her feel even worse and much less likely to eat. Here’s some good info on syringe-feeding: http://gorbzilla.com/syringe_feeding_faq.htm

And, just in case it comes to that, here’s some stuff about feeding tubes, which really sound a lot scarier than they are: http://catinfo.org/feedingtubes.htm
I realize funds might be an issue, but if force-feeding becomes particularly difficult or doesn’t seem to be helping, a feeding tube might be the best way to go.

Good luck with all this, and hang in there! Let us know how Jingle does.
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Old June 14th, 2007, 05:29 PM
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One of my girls lost a lot of weight really quick a few years back, turned out to be tapeworm. Have you tested for this or noticed anything 'rice like' around her bum? Other than that I wish you luck and hope you're kitty gets better really soon.
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Old June 14th, 2007, 09:04 PM
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Maybe putting some sardines in her food would help ? I don't know where you live but if you have dollarstores in your area, you can get them at low cost.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 06:01 PM
PonyDiva PonyDiva is offline
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Unhappy great suggestions

Thanks so much. I tried a can of tuna and she turned up her nose! Although the other 2 cats and the dog just about attacked me for it. She's never been much into milk or tuna or treats, honestly.

I'm feeding wet food - President's Choice Nutrition First Adult as she'd previously been vet-recommended to go on that same brand's weight loss wet food 2 yrs ago, so I figured it was a good place to start. I've got her up to about 1/2 a can before she starts biting me and fussing. I'm trying to increase it still by adding another feeding rather than trying to stuff it all in her at once.

When we saw the vet she said she might be a bit jaundiced. Not that she was, but that she might be. What is that supposed to mean?!

Yeah, unfortunately, funds are an issue. The vet wanted to do blood work and an xray totaling about $440 and we said no, we'd continue and increase the force feeding and go from there. I just can't justify that much money for maybes and what-ifs. And then once the testing's done then we'd have to pay for treatment. That starts to become out of our reach.

The last 2 mornings she's peed on the bathroom floor (ceramic tiles) and the morning before that on the carpet in our bedroom. It's so frustrating and confusing.

I'm just plugging along and waiting and hoping she's better.

THANK YOU so much!! :love: :love: Keep the suggestions coming.

Oh, yeah, no tapeworm. Yeah, our outdoor boy, Stewie, has had that before but there's no sign of it with her. Good call though!
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Old June 18th, 2007, 11:22 PM
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$440!!! Wow that sounds really high. Fagan had an xray...was about $65, and bloodwork was about $100... $440 sounds way outta whack. Maybe you should shop around and try a different vet. Where in Ontario are you? In my area there are some rescue groups that will help cover the vet visit if you can't. There may be in your area too.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 11:56 AM
PonyDiva PonyDiva is offline
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we're in...

...Guelph. I usually take our animals either to the OVC or this other vet as they're really good with them and we've been going there Jingle's whole life. The OVC used to be really good about payment options and trying to keep costs down, but a few years ago they increased their costs. I originally contacted them about it and they would only take her as an emergency case which costs $90 just to be seen. Instead, I was able to get an app't the same day with the vet's office at a cost of approx $67 just to be seen. I was sure it was only $35 the last time I took an animal in, but maybe the cost has gone up? I dunno. We were embarrassed at the desk on our way out b/c it was the day before payday and we didn't even have the $67 in our account - we were able to do it with the luck that I had $15 in my wallet, hubby had $10 in his and there was just enough left in the bank account to debit the rest.

Please, if there are any places out there that offer excellent care and cost options, I'd love to know. It's just an insane amount for possibly finding out what's wrong and then having to go on with treatment options after that.

We paid almost $500 for our other cat right after Christmas (yeah, when we didn't have money left!) for what we thought may have been a dislocated shoulder only to find out he'd been in a fight and had a slight infection, the shoulder was not dislocated, and he only needed a course of antibiotics which were a fraction of that cost.

I don't mean to whine about costs - it's expected when you own animals and I believe you shouldn't own them if you can't manage to take good care of them, but there's got to be a limit to that too, in all good conscience.

Thanks so much! Id' be very interested if there is anything around here.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 01:02 PM
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Um, doesn't Guelph University treat animals?? (and sometimes it helps just to be persistent in asking your vet to accept payments, when it comes down to it the health of your animal should be more important than prompt payment!)

Here is one in Guelph:
http://www.barlees.org/cgi-bin/index.php

Or contact the local Humane Society or SPCA, as they should know of rescue groups in your area.

And trust me I know what you mean about the money, it can get rough especially when you don't have any to 'fall back on'! Just yesturday I spent $96, leaving us only $40 for ourselves for the next two weeks! My vet however will let me carry a balance on my account when things are really tight. And I appreciate that so much, and always pay as soon as I can. I guess I just wish you luck and hope that you are able to get your kitty the care she so deserves, and that she does get better.
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Last edited by krdahmer; June 19th, 2007 at 01:06 PM.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 07:47 PM
PonyDiva PonyDiva is offline
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Thanks

Yep, that's who I'm referring to when I say OVC (Ontario Vet College). They are our "regular" vet, I just took her to the other vet, who I use as a back-up b/c you can't always get a fast appointment with the wellness clinic, b/c we could get her in that day w/o an emergency charge.

I'll contact the places you've suggested and I'll give the vet and university a call back to see what we can arrange for treatment and payment options.

Thank you very much for your caring and suggestions.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 11:31 PM
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Great, and don't forget to keep us updated!!
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Old June 21st, 2007, 04:16 PM
PonyDiva PonyDiva is offline
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back today to the vet - not good

So last night I can't sleep b/c Jingle isn't doing well and my daughter (4) came downstairs saying she had the hiccups and was really, really sick. I went upstairs but Jingle seemed fine and was purring on my daughter's bed, so I told her I'd take her to the vet today, enough was enough.

So Mom was an angel and took her to the vet for me while I was at work. I explained to the vet's receptionist I was willing to go up to $500 and that was seriously hard for us financially, and Mom told the vet this. Mom called and said the vet didn't have a good prognosis, was sure the abdominal hardness was a growth, not a blockage, and wanted to do xrays. I met them, signed the papers and the vet kept Jingle for the afternoon to do the xrays.

The vet called me a little earlier to say that the xrays show a growth on the liver with what looks to be 3 prongs coming out of it, and the best test would be an ultrasound at $500. I said no. The vet informed me she was going to try syringe-feeding her and would speak to me further when I come to get her after work. She gave me no other treatment options.

Mom's going to meet me there as the vet had told her that there wasn't any drugs that would work, and that surgery wasn't really much of an option.

So I'll talk to the vet. It sounds like we're just going to make Jingle's life the best we can and when her quality of life is no longer good, then we'll make that decision then.

It's so hard
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Old June 21st, 2007, 05:01 PM
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Oh no!! I'm so sorry to hear about Jingle. I don't know what to say, except that you have my deepest sympathy. Give Jingle lots of lovin' and know that you're doing the best you can for her. If it ever comes down to having to make "The Decision", here is a great website for helping to determine quality of life: Quality of Life Scale

Take care of yourself.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 12:59 PM
PonyDiva PonyDiva is offline
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Thank you so much for all of the suggestions and support

Well, we got there last night and Jingle was happy to be coming home. They taught me how to syringe feed her and I bought some of the special canned food. The vet was AMAZING and only charged us for the xrays and food. Very good!

I hosted a meeting at my house last night and was surprised that Jingle came around seeking attention from my guests. That was a good thing, I thought.

So I fed her last night before bed and was happy to see her sleeping with my daughter when I headed to bed. I like this syringe feeding MUCH better than hand force feeding, much easier for both of us. Hopefully she will regain her appetite.

Who knows, it could be a harmless growth that's been there for ages, and she's only lost the weight because of the food change and now she's gone off of the food, so if we can get her eating again maybe everything will go back to normal.

K, that's my plan and I'm sticking to it b/c I don't want to think of the other, probably more realistic, option right now.

Hubby was not happy this morning when she peed in the upstairs bathroom (probably the stress of being sick) but thankfully it's ceramic so I'll put an extra litter box up there and hopefully that'll solve that.

So, I'm going to keep syringe feeding her, giving her lots of luvins and take it day by day.

You guys are great. Thank you!
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 02:18 PM
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I'm glad Jingle is home, PonyDiva, but sorry to hear about the growth.

I love your plan, though. TLC and lotsa lovin' and what will be, will be. She's a very lucky kitty to have you.

It sounds like you've found a great vet, too. I'm glad they had a technique to help with the force feeding. Less stress for both you and Jingle!

Best wishes to you!
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 02:27 PM
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Just wanted to send some hugs and good wishes your way . Jingle is lucky to have someone who loves her so much, make sure you treasure the moments together .
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Old June 27th, 2007, 09:27 AM
PonyDiva PonyDiva is offline
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Talking Update on our girl

Thank you so much for the hugs! Most definitely needed.

So, Jingle's doing well on the force feeding. I picked up enough for another week as I haven't physically seen her eating regular food as yet. I've got her up to 1/2-3/4 can a day. She's more social and getting more Jingle-ish again which is very encouraging. We're taking the kids camping for 2 nights so my very kind parents are going to force-feed her those 2 days for me And, she hasn't peed upstairs since she got home from the vet and has been getting regular meals (thank goodness b/c my hubby was very, very frustrated by that!).

So far, so good.

Thank you!!!!
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Old June 27th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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I'm glad to hear things are getting a bit better, sorry to hear about the growth. Hopefully it's like you said and nothing harmful!

Isn't it nice to have parents who understand how important your furbabies are? Mine have been so helpful over the years and even took in two of their own.

Well Miss Jingle, you keep eating and getting better!!
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