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Vet is clueless, we're broke, and Bill is dying!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I am new here! We have three cats: Bill and Ted are 6 year old brothers, and Rufus is 2 years old. Last week Bill began to throw up his food. After a couple days with no improvement we brought him to the vet. He found Bill to be jaundiced, and thin. He said his intestines felt swollen, and that he recommended we do blood work. It came back that he is in liver failure. I know his enzymes were up, but I can't recall what else. He was tested for feline leukemia and was negative. The vet asked to take x-rays but we already spent almost $400 and x-rays were $100 a piece. So, he was put on antibiotics, and another pill to reduce his vomitting. He has not vomitted in several days, but he refuses to eat anything but about a spoonful of cheap canned cat food (he normally eats dick van patten's). We have been giving him nutrical twice a day in addition to what he'll eat to help sustain him. He will drink on his own, and he has used the litterbox (urine only). He won't walk unless forced, and must be carried to the water and litterbox. It is amazing this all happened so fast, as he was seemingly heathly before! The vet doesn't know what is wrong, and can't fully diagnose him with out more tests. However, he told us that diagnosis or not, the prognosis is poor. Has anyone had an experience like this before? The other two cats are doing well and checked out in good health at the vet, so I am not sure what it is that could be causing Bill's problems. Would cancer cause such rapid deterioration?

Thanks in advance,
Amy Franz
post #2 of 23
I am sorry to hear that poor little Bill is soo sick! I know what a bad position you are in as well, I see it everyday at work, I am a vet tech and stuff like this happens all the time. Unfortunatly, your vet is right without further testing to figure out exactly what is going on there is little way of telling how this happened. I also know that money can be a concern, is it possible that your vet takes the Care Credit card, a credit card specificallt made for these type of situations??? Liver failure can be a fast, downhill prognosis if diagnosed too late. As for the cause of it is it possible he ate something poisonous?? I am just trying to think of things that may have caused him to go downhill so fast, not trying to say that you are a bad owner, please don't get me wrong. Have they offered to hook him up to IV fluids at all to help support him while they figure out an answer? The liver is the one organ that can regrow itself, and with they help of medicine become normal again but, I have no idea what his bloodwork says, and how far damaged his liver is! You can try a little Milk Thistle powder on his food, if he will eat and that may help him feel a little better and there is also a medication called Denosyl that is made to help damaged livers but once again I have no idea how bead his liver's condition is, so just thinking out loud again. I wish that there was more I could say or to do make you and Bill feel better, but I am also not a vet, just a tech. Please keep us updated on poor Bill and I will keep the two of you in my thoughts tonight! Take care: Sarah
post #3 of 23
Sending good thoughts to you and Bill.
post #4 of 23
I have no ideas /.// just vibes to get well ...

Did the vet give you a special diet
post #5 of 23
Amy,

Once they turn yellow,it's because they find themselves in the middle of hepatic lipidosis. It is anorexia for cats. They aren't hungry because essentially their body is starting to feed on itself.

Here is an article that may give you some ideas


http://www.thecatsite.com/Health/85/...Lipidosis.html
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
The vets special diet...anything Bill will eat! The vet recommended x-rays, and told us that since Bill is not dehydrated, we could attempt to keep him hydrated at home, or if we wanted we could hospitalize him and hook him up to IV fluids. As sick as he is, I don't want to sacrafice his health care, but I do want him to be comfortable. Although, the vet recommended x-rays for diagnostics, he said more than likely we would be paying a couple hundred dollars to hear bad news. I thought about the toxin angle too, but Rufus and the dogs get into everything, and Bill is not known for that, so it would be odd that Bill be the only one to ingest something.

What else can we do for Bill? Since he will eat small amounts, should I continue to supplement his diet with the nutrical? The vet didn't say anything about a feeding tube, but it sounds like I should get some instruction on this from him ASAP. I'm just really lost. The vet is telling us that we can sustain him, but likely not cure him, and I don't know if I should continue to try and treat this....but I don't want to give up on him either!

Amy
post #7 of 23
My cat, Jake, got sick back in October (stress, change of food which led to inflammed bowel) and it then lead to Hepatic Lipidosis. It can be reversed if it is caught in time. Usually with a few days of IV fluids. It can be done other ways but it is difficult and time consuming. Jake went from 10.2 lbs to 5.8 lbs. It was hard to tell right away because he was so furry. And it only took a matter of a few days. I have no doubt Jake would have passed if he didn't get in for the IV's. After that, I had to syringe feed him puree'd canned food w/water and that high calorie gel in a tube. I had to give him about 20-30 cc 4-6 times a day as tolerated. Did your vet give you any instructions regarding the hepatic lipidosis? Likely the IV's will save his life. They are more important at this point, then comfort.

PS: I was told Jake's prognosis was poor also. He is now about 10 lbs, playing, picking on the other 2 cats and eating up a storm whenever he can!
post #8 of 23
Vibes and prayers for your furbaby Bill.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Oh ....Bill has lost around a pound...but he is a smaller cat. He was 9 pounds and now he is 8.

Amy
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by reptilicus81 View Post
Oh ....Bill has lost around a pound...but he is a smaller cat. He was 9 pounds and now he is 8.

Amy
In my experience... he needs the IV's. You could potentially see him go down several pounds in the next 24-72 hours.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Luckily for us, Bill has maintained his weight since we brought him to the vet last weekend. We monitor his weight daily with a digital scale, and he is consistantly 8 pounds. Although I am sure you are right in that fluids are vital to many during treatment!
Amy
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by reptilicus81 View Post
Luckily for us, Bill has maintained his weight since we brought him to the vet last weekend. We monitor his weight daily with a digital scale, and he is consistantly 8 pounds. Although I am sure you are right in that fluids are vital to many during treatment!
Amy
Yeah... that's why your vet suggested it. He knows the cat can't survive long without aggressive supportive treatment.
post #13 of 23
Are you assist feeding him???
post #14 of 23
I am so very sorry about Bill. It is always distressing when a loved one that you care for is sick. Especially one that can't tell you what is wrong or how they feel. I only know about kidney disease. However, fluids are very important and it keeps them hydrated. I had to take ours in to get fluids, but didn't have time to come in 2-3 times a week to have it done. SO I asked if they could show me how to do it and just bought the IV every week. I would see if you could get the IV and at least give him fluids until you decide what the next step best for Bill is. I also work in a lab, so I know how important lab test are in diagnosis. Without further testing the vet can't make an accurate diagnosis for your poor boy, but I also understand the unreasonable prices that come along with vet care. If at all possible, try to get a care credit card(a credit card specially for pet care). I wish you all the very best and I hope and pray Bill will get better soon.
post #15 of 23
www.carecredit.com

Have you talked with your vet about the $$$ issues??
post #16 of 23
I agree with Sharky - are you assist-feeding Bill? Syringe-feeding is not difficult to do nor that time consuming, but it can make a huge difference for your kitty. Hills A/D is a prescription food for short term use post-op or when a kitty is ill and needs extra calories. The consistency of this canned food is very soft, almost pudding like, so it is great for syringe feeding..you would get this from your vet.

I also agree re asking the vet if sub-q fluids would help, and then asking them to write you a prescription, so you can get the fluids, iv tubing and needles at a lower cost (your local costco is one place to take the prescription) and to show you the technique for doing this (it is just under the skin in an area below the neck over the shoulders).

I used to buy fluids by the case, it was so much cheaper than buying iv fluids one bag at a time from your vet. The technique is not difficult (imo) to learn, and it does not take long to administer.

I would give Patrick 100 cc of fluid and we'd be done in under 7 minutes. We had our routine
post #17 of 23
I'm sorry about Bill
Sending good vibes your way.
post #18 of 23
I'm not saying these things out of spite but I'm just really concerned and want to be helpful because I believe this kitty's life could be needlessly lost and I'd hate to see you lose a companion you love and care for. From what my vet told me when Jake was sick, SubQ fluids won't do much good because it is not a dehydration problem but rather a starvation problem that is threatening his well being. Maybe she (the vet) wasn't being honest with me. I don't know... just relaying what I've learned. The IV fluids they gave have some nutrients and calories so they have to be given intravenously. On the other hand, I have heard of people who just started aggressively treating with many forced feedings every day. So that definately is a possiblity. Especially since there has only been aprox. a 1 pound weight loss.
post #19 of 23
I hope Bill is feeling better now. I don't know what to tell you to do.

I am sending prayers and hugs from Mississippi for Bill and for you.

post #20 of 23
Quote:
Since he will eat small amounts, should I continue to supplement his diet with the nutrical?
I think it's best to continue as long as he is not eating a full ration, especially if he actually likes the stuff and you aren't having to force it down him. I used Nutrical when Rajah became anorexic (due to complications following dental surgery) and i'm not sure if she would have made it without it. But she really hates the goo, so on the days she ate some food for me i didn't make her take it, and as soon as she started eating again (hooray Chicken Soup dry!) i stopped forcing it on her, although it would probably be better if i was still giving her some since she is awfully bony at 6lbs 4oz although she's maintaining/slightly gaining now. But she hates it so much and pouts after i give it to her, that i worry she might stop eating again just to spite me and i'm not willing to take that risk with her.
post #21 of 23
I have no ideas but am praying for your baby.
post #22 of 23
How is Bill today? I hope the poor darling is doing better.
post #23 of 23
Still sending prayers and hugs from Mississippi for you and Bill. I hope they find out what is wrong with him.

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