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Cat with chronic UTI condition

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Please help with any advice.

My cat Atticus initially had a bad bladder/UTI infection in August. He has went through two rounds of Baytril and when having a UA last Saturday, it showed that his pH is normal, but the white blood cell count is high and he had trace of red blood cell.

My doctor did not want to put him on another round of Baytril as he was worried about antibiotic resistence. So he prescribed Sulfa, mainly because Atticus has a history of taking Clavamox and can't keep the liquid down. I gave him Sulfa for the first day and he kept it down but the third day, it was hard to get him to take it and he was drooling and throwing it up due to the bitterness. My doctor switched him to Amoxycilin drops, but he is throwing that up as well.

I have tried everything. I try crushing the pills in his food. He won't eat it and the one time he tried he was salivating still. I have tried giving the meds to him on a full stomach and food right after the pill. No go. My cat was not showing signs of being in distress from the UTI condition before starting meds, but now looks so distressed and sick from the meds.

Baytril is real easy to give, cause it's a small pill that crumbles apart and I can get that down him without too much hardship. It's also not bitter.

My vet is out today. But I am not sure if I should give kitty Sulfa tonight that seems to be upsetting his stomach or wait to talk to the vet tomorrow. I will be calling the vet to suggest any options for injections, etc.

I am not sure what to do and can't stand seeing my baby this distressed.

I have written about Atti and his long term Manx Syndrome here before:


I know this can be a chronic condition. But the point now is that he is not getting any medicine he can keep down due to extreme stomach irritation.

Please help.
post #2 of 16
HAs the vet ever mentioned pepcid??
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
No. I was wondering if there was something he could take that would help with the gagging and nausea. I can ask him about it.

post #4 of 16
Hi ShellBell
I see from the other UTI post, that you've read about my UTI experience with Lola. Has your vet tried Atticus on the Zeniquin? It is only one pill a day, and it didn't bother Lola's tummy at all. The Clavamox and the Amoxicillin gave her a bit of diarrhea, but no nausea or vomiting. I guess our kitties are like people, everyone reacts differently to medications.

I'm not sure that Pepcid would help with the nausea or vomiting related to the antibiotics. Pepcid is an H2 receptor blocker (it reduces the acid production in the stomach) and Atticus' N/V is caused by the actual medication, not an overproduction of acid. Reglan might be a better medication for the nausea, but it works on nausea that's regulated by the central nervous system. It does, however, cause faster gastric emptying....meaning it moves things through the stomach faster, so it has less time for it to cause nausea before it goes into the rest of the digestive tract.

Have you tried Amoxicillin pills? That's what I had for Lola. I just put the tiny pill into the Cosequin capsule and shoved it down Lola's throat. You can also purchase empty gelcaps at a healthfood store that you can put vile tasting medicines into. This helps prevent the foaming and drooling problems caused by nasty tasting medications. When Cleo had her diarrhea from IBD, I had to give her Flagyl liquid. OMG!!! It's the nastiest stuff I've ever tasted (yes, I tasted it!) I put it into empty gelcaps and I never once had an issue with her foaming or drooling or even objecting to taking her medicine.

I sincerely hope that you can find something that will work for your sweet baby. I will keep you and Atticus in my prayers for a quick resolution to the UTI. Hope he's feeling better soon!
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have never heard of these capsules and gelcaps. I will look into this. One fear I have about any pills, that are not tiny, is that I may cause him to choke. When you put these things into capsules, how big are they?

Thanks for all the suggestions. Right now, I am trying to do my research. I am as anxious as kitty as I have to go and try to get medicine down him in an hour or so. I feed him first. The Sulfa wasn't so hard on him the first day, as I got it back in his throat far enough, it went down quick. But I only get one try. If I or he doesn't get it right, he starts foaming and drooling and later, vomiting.

He tends to have trouble with pills that are bitter. We were going to do Clavamox, but I would have had to cut them in half to get them down and they had a coating. Will call the vet tomorrow.

A part of me wants to not medicate him tonight, but I am afraid to do nothing at all, as he needs the medicine and I will not be able to get more or get a hold of my vet until sometime tomorrow.

It's frustrating. I hate how this is affecting him.
post #6 of 16
I'm sorry that Atticus is having such difficulty with his meds.

Have you tried Pill Pockets? It's a soft cat treat with a small hole for inserting a pill. Most of my cats love the taste and gobble them up without noticing the pill inside. They are available at most pet supply stores.

Healthy vibes and positive thoughts for pill taking to Atticus.
post #7 of 16
Has your vet ever done a culture and sensitivity test on your kitties urine. Its a little expensive (some where around 50-100 dollars) BUt it will tell the vet what kind of bacteria it is and what antibiotics will work on it.

The best example I have for you is a cat who comes into the vets office I work at named Baxter. For over a year Baxter would get UTIs, we would treat them, they would go away for a short while, but then they would come right back. So finally we did a culture... Turns out Baxter's bacteria was E.Coli and it was resistant to EVERYTHING except 2 antibiotics. (One of which we couldn't even find to try) The other, is so dangerous, it can shut down the kidneys. He is being treated right now and has to have bloodwork done every few days to make sure that his kidneys aren't having any problems.

A routine urinalysis can't tell you what kind of bacteria it is... only that there is bacteria present.

Just something to think about...
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, thus far the issue has been that he can't keep the antibiotics down for us to know if they are working. He was initially started on Baytril for two rounds and we then tried Sulfa, which he had trouble ingesting, and have moved to Amoxicillian liquid, which he throws up most the time and I have trouble getting in him.

Today, I am picking up the Amoxicillian pills, which have a coating and only are given once a day. My vet is trying to find a antibiotic he can tolerate. I have better luck with pills in terms of getting them in him, than liquid. But latey, he is pretty much over everything in terms of temprement. Not that I blame him.

I have raised the option of a urine culture with the vet if another round of antibiotic does not work. But right now we don't know what works if he can't stomach the meds.

Thanks for your advice.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am about at my wit's end.

I picked up the Amoxicillin pills at the vet this afternoon and stated Atti on them tonight. I got him to swallow it pretty easily and there was no drool or foaming. I fed him right after and thought everything was okay. I should have known that was too easy.

Awhile ago I found vomit all over the room. Even thought the pill is coated it's causing him major gastrointestinal upset. I can call the vet tomorrow. I do not think this is a side effect that will pass. I have had this problem with first, the Sulfa, the amoxicillin liquid, and now the amox pill. He has had this problem with Clavamox liquid in the past as well.

Is there something the vet could give for the gastrointestinal upset I wonder? I don't know how many antibiotics there are but this is getting upsetting, for me and obviously Atticus kitty. I am not sure what the options are. I didn't have any problem like this with Baytril. It may be a different class of antibiotics and the penicillin variates he has a problem with.

I want to scream.
post #10 of 16
talk with your vet about trying tagament, sucralfate, reglan, pepcid or something like that...

Have you talked with you vet about trying injections instead? It maybe a pain in the rear... but something you may want to talk with your vet about.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have thought about injections. I don't know if I would need to board him for the duration if it was a daily thing, which I imagine it would be. It would be costly and I hate to leave him there like that. *sigh* I don't know.

I will see what the options are tomorrow.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Update 10/1/07

Last week, my vet ordered Zeniquin, since Atticus has taken Baytril before with no problems. He said Zeniquin was one of the best medications for UTI. It's also in the same family as Baytril. He takes it only once a day (yea!) and has had no apparent problems.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that at the end of the round (approx one more week), he will be better. I have also started using an antibacterial shampoo I got at the vet since he has an issue with both bowell and bladder incontinence all the time due to Manx syndrome. It hasn't seemed to irritate the skin.

post #13 of 16
Hi - Good luck with the Zenequin. My male cat has chronic UTI's and Zenequin is what my vet always prescribes. Did your vet say anything about giving him Cosequin for Cats? I started my cat on this about 8 months ago; 1 pill a day, and knock on wood, he hasn't had any issues in months! I truly believe it is a combination of the Cosequin and the new food he is on. The change has been dramatic. Good luck... let us know how it goes.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
I had never heard of Cosequin. From my quick reading just now, I guess this is supposed to help with inflamation?

My vet and I think that Atticus definitely has issues with bacteria in terms of the UTIs due the Manx Syndrome. His urine sits in the bladder a bit longer than in normal cats, though he is able to eliminate on his own and even empty his bladder on his own. My vet did not want me to express his bladder if he is able to do these things as he says it could tramatize the bladder. I know some pet owners have to do these things with their disabled pets. Atticus is also bowell and bladder incontinent and sometimes, even as much as I try and wash him and keep him clean, he gets fecal matter near where the urine exits.

When I initially took Atticus to the emergency vet in August, they stated it was FLUTD and inflamation and did not put him on antibiotics. Only injectible Metacam and pain killer. I was worried that he had bacteria as well. The next day, my vet, who knows Atti well, but him on antiobiotics. Atticus does take a very small Metacam dosage per week to help with infamation associated with spasms in his back legs.

I think it may be both inflamation and bacteria, a little of both. Not sure.

I will ask my vet about Cosequin. What food do you use?

post #15 of 16
Yes.. it is called Cosequin for Cats and it is supposed to help with bladder function. The food my cat is on is Science Diet Prescription c/d® Multicare Feline (for Lower Urinary Tract Disease). I have seen a dramatic change in my cat since I started the Cosequin and this food. His bathroom habits are even more regular now, where as before it was hit or miss. The cat food is a prescription, so you'd have to get that from your vet. The cheapest place I've been able to find the Cosequin is on Amazon.com. Good luck....
post #16 of 16
Oh... just another quick tip that has also helped my baby. The more water they can drink, the better. I put an extra bowl of water in a different area of my house. I still have his original bowl in the kitchen, but now have an additional bowl of water in the hallway. He is definitely drinking more water now that I have 2 bowls. Of course... just the newness of placing a bowl in a strange place peaks their curiousity
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