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Chase is very sick :(  

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 
Poor Chase, things just keep getting worse for him. We found a new vet to see, and she started him on antibiotics for another UTI. Likely the old vet never treated him long enough, because she DID see bacteria. (They kept saying there was none.) The culture didn't take, however, so we don't know which type. She said his white count is really high.

She was concerned about his heart, which baffled me. He had his heart tested about two years ago, and a recent (a month to a month and a half ago!) x-ray that showed it to be fine. However, her new x-ray showed a lot of fluid build-up. She thinks he could have congestive heart failure... It also could be a tumor, she said. She mentioned the very slim possibilities of heartworm or pneumonia, but she thinks those are highly unlikely. She also mentioned possibly getting a test done for FIP. He came from a pet store, and had whatever shots the vets threw at us as a kitten, so it's almost certain he's been exposed to the coronavirus, right? So I'm really not sure the test wouldn't just be a waste of money.

He was doing amazingly well on the appetite stimulant, new antibiotics (Doxy), and regular sub-Q fluids for about a week. He went from 8 lbs to 8.4. (He probably should be at least 11.) Today he isn't eating. I am hoping it is just because I didn't give him the appetite pill last night.. but he's had two doses since then and isn't begging, so I guess that's a long-shot. I syringe-fed him a small amount (about 20 CCs) of A/D hoping to spike his appetite, but it doesn't seem to have accomplished more than making him mad at me.

I really.. don't know what to do at this point. The vet said an ultrasound from a specialist would be needed to confirm the heart failure theory, but she sure made it sound like I would just be wasting my money to do it. I still plan to call and at least see how much it would cost me. He still seems pretty happy, though he doesn't want much to do with me after all the pills I've been shoving down his throat, the needles I'm having to poke him with, etc...

The other thing, is that she said his urine is too dilute, even when he was dehydrated. She is concerned about his kidneys because of this, though his blood test results didn't show any abnormal values as far as that goes. So she really isn't sure what could be causing that.

I guess there isn't much advice I can ask for... I don't know. Just send some positive vibes his way, I guess. My poor boy...
post #2 of 82
Many, many positive being sent to Chase. Bless his little heart...and your's too!
post #3 of 82
Prayers for your Cat
post #4 of 82
Lots and lots of healing for Chase.
post #5 of 82
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot. The poor guy just threw up.. it was full of cheese. I don't know how many times I've told the family NOT to give him much cheese, even if he's not eating much else. Ugh. Half his meds probably came up with it.
post #6 of 82
Aww!! Poor Chase!!! Many vibes and prayers for him to feel better! And for you!!
post #7 of 82
Awww...I can tell that your are very worried about your sweet boy.

Sending calming vibes to you and healing vibes for precious Chase.
post #8 of 82
I'd skip the FIP test--it won't likely tell you much unless you are testing a sample of the actual fluid and not just his blood. Is he on a diuretic?
post #9 of 82
Thread Starter 
He's not on a diuretic yet because he was so dehydrated. I think he will probably be put on one at his recheck next week? At least, she had talked about it.
post #10 of 82
common Chase get well
post #11 of 82
Thread Starter 
Chase had his recheck, so I just wanted to update. There's not a lot to tell. The vet leans toward thinking FIP, but admits she really does not know what is wrong with him. She thinks it is just a matter of keeping him comfortable as long as possible until the time comes.. She didn't want to do a diuretic still since he is losing too much water in his urine, and the fluid in his chest isn't so bad that it is causing symptoms yet. She upped him from 100 mL to 200 mL of sub-Q fluids a day.
post #12 of 82

I've got no words of wisdom
post #13 of 82
Poor boy! I'm very sorry Chase is ill.

I think you should get his heart checked out with ultrasound (echocardiogram) - it's much more accurate than an X-ray. Echos are only as good as the person doing them, however, so try to have a feline cardiologist do it, or at least a vet with lots of ultrasound experience. Echos are expensive but you will get an answer.

The amount of fluid Chase is getting has been significantly increased (100mL to 200mL). It's dangerous to do too much fluid if there's heart disease present, so you need to find out what's going on with the heart ASAP!

It seems that if there was true kidney disease, the bloodwork kidney values would reflect this. I wonder if it's got something to do with the heart and the fluid that's building up.

Your vet has admitted to not knowing what's wrong with Chase, and it sounds like she's given up. But your boy was able to gain a little weight and even though he's not feeling well, he "still seems pretty happy" as you said. If Chase were my kitty, I'd get a second opinion and fast.

If you're near Knoxville, there's a vet school at UT. Give them a call and try to get Chase in to the vets there. I think it's the only vet school in the state university system, but you could check on that. You may also have a veterinary emergency/diagnostic hospital in your area. These are usually larger facilities than the small private practices of local vets, and they'll have several feline specialists there. There may also be feline specialists in private practice if there are no vet hospitals like that near you. You want a specialist, board certified if possible. Do a search and see what you can find.

Lots of prayers, good vibes and good wishes to you and your sweet boy.
post #14 of 82
for chase to feel better. for you.
post #15 of 82
Poor Babe... I send my vibes to him.
post #16 of 82

My prayers are with you and chase!
post #17 of 82
Thread Starter 
Knoxville is over 4 hours away. We looked into it when we had a dog with cancer the local vets couldn't do anything for. I do want to look into getting a second (well, third at this point!) opinion on his condition. I really wish money weren't an issue at all. I think I would have to go an hour to Nashville to find a specialist, and I've been told the fee to even get in the door is very steep. I considered a cats only vet in the area, but have heard absolutely nothing good about him from anyone. I was told he even tried to cheat animal control overcharging! ... So. I'm not sure what to do at this point. But I will at least call around and get an idea of where I could go and how much it will be.

Oh, and thanks to everyone sending positive vibes his way. He does seem to be feeling a bit better with the increased fluids.
post #18 of 82
Awww, poor Chase! Sending many, many good health vibes his way.
post #19 of 82
Thread Starter 
I talked to one local place today.. they aren't specialists, but they do offer echos and have experience doing them.. They quoted me $198. Is this a normal price for it?? This place sometimes is cheap, sometimes high for things, so I never really know what to think. I still need to call a couple of other places and see what they do.
post #20 of 82
Sending lots of vibes for Chase!
post #21 of 82
That's not a bad price. When Spot had an echo at the specialist, it was about $350.
post #22 of 82
Originally Posted by cloud_shade View Post
That's not a bad price. When Spot had an echo at the specialist, it was about $350.
It's $350 and up here, so to me, $198 is terrific for an echo. Of course, the crucial part is the experience of the person doing it. It's no bargain if they're not good at reading echos.

It's a shame that Knoxville is too far for you. You mentioned Nashville - if it's about an hour from you and you can find a specialist there, do that. I agree it will probably cost more than the local place, but since this will be your third opinion, and Chase needs expert help (the sooner the better) it's worth it. I'm concerned about whether his heart can handle the amount of sub-q fluids he's getting.

Don't know if you've seen it, but there's a "sticky" near the top of the threads in this forum called "Can't Afford a Vet?" Hope it's helpful.

Keeping those good thoughts going for Chase.
post #23 of 82
Hope Chase is doing better. Please give us an update when you can.
post #24 of 82
Thread Starter 
We had to stop the sub-Q fluids for now. He will probably be getting his echo on Wednesday. It's still not a specialist, but they do have experience doing them, and they are willing to work out a payment plan for me to make sure I can afford this and whatever else it may show he needs.
post #25 of 82
Lots of for chase and for you
post #26 of 82
Originally Posted by wishiwas View Post
We had to stop the sub-Q fluids for now. He will probably be getting his echo on Wednesday. It's still not a specialist, but they do have experience doing them, and they are willing to work out a payment plan for me to make sure I can afford this and whatever else it may show he needs.
I'm very glad you'll be able to get Chase an echo. That's great that the vet's willing to do a payment plan.

Did the new vet advise stopping the sub-Q fluids?

Lots of good thoughts going out to you and Chase. Feel better soon little guy!

PS- When an echo is done for the first time, some vets will also do an EKG. It should be a reasonable price where you are, because even here in the land of astronomical vet bills, it's not bad. Ask the vet if they routinely do EKG's with first-time echos and what the fee is. If you can afford it, do it. You can also request, or they may advise, a blood pressure check especially since there seems to be a problem with Chase's kidneys. If there's kidney disease, blood pressure is *very* important to check. Again, this shouldn't be an expensive test- it's about $40 here, as is the EKG. The good thing about all these tests is that they're not invasive or painful and together they'll give you an accurate picture of what's going on.
post #27 of 82
Thread Starter 
The vet said to immediately stop fluids if he showed any signs of labored breathing, so I stopped them and talked to her. It wasn't severe enough that she needed to see him before his appointment with the other vet for the echo. He is probably actually going tomorrow now. The vet that does the echos is off on Wednesday.

He had his blood pressure checked recently. It was high when he was stressed from the vet, but the vet suspected this and had me sit with him quietly for awhile before testing again, and it came back normal then. I will ask if they want to retest it, and if they want to do the EKG. Assuming everything works out with the payment plan idea, there shouldn't be a problem doing whatever he needs.

They implied there is a possibility they may have to mildly sedate in order to reduce stress on him... is this normal? I worry about him going under even mild sedation in the state he is in, but then I can see where the risks might very well be less than having him stressing out through the entire procedure.
post #28 of 82
You are talking such loving care of sweet Chase.

My guess is that they would not suggest light sedation unless it was necessary.

I am sending calming vibes to your precious love.
post #29 of 82
My thoughts will be with you. I hope all the testing goes okay. Please let us know.
post #30 of 82
Thread Starter 
Well... Chase's heart is fine. However, the vet is almost certain he has lymphoma. When she saw his heart was in decent shape, she went on to ultrasound his abdomen, and his abdominal lymph nodes were greatly enlarged, and the walls of his small intestine thickened. He had a small amount of fluid in his chest.

I've got to decide if I want to pursue this further and test to confirm and look into treating at all.. but the vet said if this were her cat she wouldn't put him through chemo at this point. She doesn't think it would be worth it with the shape he is in. Considering how much it would probably cost to do on top of that... We'll probably be just trying to make him comfortable as long as possible.
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