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Chase is very sick :( - Page 2  

post #31 of 82
I'm so sorry Wishiwas. My heart goes out to you & your family.
post #32 of 82
I was sure hoping for much better news. I'm terribly sorry to hear the vet thinks it's lymphoma.

You might ask your vet about a shot of depo-medrol (hope I spelled that correctly). It's a very strong steroid. Last year, one of my semi-feral kitties was ill, and the vet said it was either IBD (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or cancer, most likely lymphoma. He said we could try the depo. Worst case, it would have no effect, but even with cancer it could give him another 6-8 weeks. Best case, we'd see improvement immediately and he could get an additional shot in a few months. It helped my little guy tremendously, surprising even my vet. I don't know if this is something that would help Chase, but you could see what your vet thinks about trying it.

It's really difficult, but try to be as "normal" and positive as you can when you're with Chase. You know how sensitive cats are, and he'll know if you're upset.

Please let us know if we can help. Lots of us, me included, have unfortunately had kitties with this awful disease.
post #33 of 82
Thread Starter 
I will ask about it.. she was very nice and willing to discuss anything that might make him more comfortable. Today she sent him home with a B-12 shot to try to get him eating and a low dose of prednisone. If that doesn't get him eating she said a low dose of valium may help since the Cypro doesn't seem to be doing anything for him.
post #34 of 82
I am sending calming, loving thoughts to you and Chase....
May the time you have together be warm and sweet.
post #35 of 82
Just sending good vibes for you and Chase, that he may enjoy whatever time he has left with you, and that you manage to give him a good quality of life. It is heartbreaking to go through this kind of thing, when you are so close to a cat.
post #36 of 82
I'm so sorry to hear about Chase, it is truly heartbreaking. He knows how much you love him and you have done everything you can to help him.
post #37 of 82
Originally Posted by wishiwas View Post
I will ask about it.. she was very nice and willing to discuss anything that might make him more comfortable. Today she sent him home with a B-12 shot to try to get him eating and a low dose of prednisone. If that doesn't get him eating she said a low dose of valium may help since the Cypro doesn't seem to be doing anything for him.

The B-12 is a good idea - very safe to use and sometimes really does the trick.

Just a thought here: ask your vet if there's *any* possibility that Chase has severe IBD (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Some of his symptoms fit that condition. If there is that possibility, do the "test to confirm" you'd mentioned to determine if it's lymphoma or not. I'm guessing the test would involve aspirating some of the fluid and analyzing it.

Hope the B-12 helps Chase want to eat and feel better.
post #38 of 82
Thread Starter 
I think she said she would aspirate the lymph node with a needle and send it off to be analyzed. I'll ask about it next time we see her. He still isn't eating much right now, but he's perked up a little. He's moving around a bit more, and I got him to eat some chicken and drink some KMR. I bought one of everything at Petsmart just about to try and tempt him into getting back onto cat food. Hopefully he will want something.
post #39 of 82
Hugs for you and Chase
post #40 of 82
I know you stopped the sub-Q's just before the echo, but are you able to give Chase any hydration at all? Sub-Q's are very beneficial and make ill kitties feel so much better. Even if you could do just 50mL per day, it would give him a boost. Also, is there anything your vet can do about the fluid in his chest?

Glad to hear Chase is eating some chicken. KMR has lots of calories so hopefully he'll want more. You can try baby food too - plain chicken or turkey flavor is good (Gerber stage 2). Just make sure whatever you use doesn't contain onion in any form.

Hope your chicken & KMR made you feel better, Chase
post #41 of 82
Thread Starter 
She said he could have up to 100mL/day as needed. He got a pretty good amount at the vet yesterday so I didn't give him any tonight, but I likely will start that back up tomorrow.

She said it was just a small amount of fluid and didn't seem to think there was any reason to do anything about it. So I don't know if they can do anything about it or not.. I could ask about that at his next visit as well if there's any chance it is bothering him..
post #42 of 82
How's Chase doing? Hope the B-12 has helped his appetite.
post #43 of 82
Thread Starter 
He's.. eating very small amounts. He will show a lot of interest in food at random points for very short periods of time, then he goes back to not so much as wanting to be near it. I think Monday I will take him back in to ask about getting a stronger steroid shot, and maybe trying the valium too.. The poor little guy, I have to wonder if it's just progressed too far and nothing can help.
post #44 of 82
Come on Chase, eat sweetie pie.
post #45 of 82
Since Chase isn't eating enough on his own, you might consider assist-feeding him (with a syringe). Sometimes it "jump starts" a cat's appetite and willingness to eat more on his own. There's a very good website with "how-to" information for assist-feeding, so let me know if you're interested. I've been assist-feeding my oldest kitty for quite a while now, so I'd be glad to answer any questions.
post #46 of 82
Thread Starter 
I've tried to do that before without much luck... It highly stresses him out, and most of it ended up dribbled all over instead of staying in his mouth. Maybe some sort of different technique would work out a little better, I don't know...
post #47 of 82
When you did the assist-feeding was Chase wrapped in a towel or held? Sometimes, that's what's most distressing to cats being assist-fed.

My vet tech suggested that I should just let my cat be free to walk around the bathroom, which is where we do our feeding. What a difference that made! Though she still wasn't thrilled about being made to stay in the bathroom, her (and my) stress level went way down, making for a much more pleasant meal time. I would give my cat a "bite" of food from the syringe and she could walk away, play with the tp roll a bit(LOL), peek into the tub, then get another bite, etc.

The alternative to assist-feeding would be a feeding tube. There are 3 types, but I think the best one for Chase would be the one inserted into the neck. It sounds awful, I know, but it's only about a 10-15 minute procedure to place the tube and is far less invasive than a stomach tube, and much more comfortable than a nasal tube. It's a commonly-used method for cats who can't or won't eat on their own. It's not permanent, though it can be used for a fairly long time. The tube can easily be removed once the cat starts eating on his own again.

If the test to confirm cancer is not painful for Chase, perhaps you should do it so that you know for sure what you're dealing with. You need to know his prognosis so that you can make decisions. If Chase still has many months (hopefully even more) left, you'll probably want to get the tube. I'm still hoping that maybe this is severe Irritable Bowel Disease. Either way, it would help if you knew for sure. Not eating enough will quickly make Chase feel worse.

Keeping good thoughts going for Chase - feel better soon little guy.
post #48 of 82
Fingers crossed you can have a lot of good quality time with him.
post #49 of 82
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for the advice and well wishes everyone. I plan to take him to the vet as soon as I get off work tomorrow and discuss all these things with her. I will ask to have the test done to confirm diagnosis at the least. I think his mouth could be bothering him now as well, he's started pawing at it on the occasions he does eat a little recently, so I'll be getting that checked too. I may just print off some of the replies here to make sure I don't forget any of the ideas that have been brought up.
post #50 of 82
I'm glad you'll be seeing the vet tomorrow, especially since Chase's mouth is bothering him. It would be good if you can make some progress on what course of treatment to pursue. Hope Chase won't be too stressed out by the visit.

Keeping lots of good thoughts and best wishes going for Chase.
post #51 of 82
Another thing to consider is the pressure of the hydrating fluid in the abdomen could be slowing down the intestine's normal movement which could cause a decrease in appetite. I'm not saying don't do the fluid, just that it can be a real balancing act.

Lots of prayers headed your way.
post #52 of 82
You know, I've got nothing that I feel I can say or do that will be any help.

All I can do is send & . I'm always a PM away.
post #53 of 82
Thread Starter 
Chasey got shot up with valium today. And almost right after suddenly showed interest in the food they offered him. He hasn't quite repeated this at home.. but we'll see how he does after he gets his first pill of it tomorrow. It does seem to have made him more receptive to sort of assist feeding, though. He will tolerate me putting food on my finger and putting it in his mouth, and I've gotten nearly half a can of A/D into him this way, a little every couple of hours. I'm not sure how much I should be aiming for overall... the can doesn't say... but the vet wanted me to call her tomorrow and let her know if he is eating, so I'll ask her then.

He also got a shot of prednisone. I was going to have the test done, but the vet really didn't want to do it today with how weak he is and is pretty much certain of her diagnosis. She did agree that it is likely he's had IBD after I recounted all his issues over the past couple of years, but she said that would not cause what she saw in the ultrasound that pointed her toward lymphoma. He is supposed to go back every week for B-12 (and prednisone if it seems to help him) shots, so I can always get it done next time if I decide to.

Oh, and she thoroughly checked over his gums and didn't see any sores or signs of anything that should be bothering him. She thinks they are probably dry? and bothering him more because of it with how he hasn't been eating or drinking much.
post #54 of 82
Since the vet is sure it's lymphoma, has she given you a prognosis? Is chemo definitely out of the question?

Every cat's requirement for calories/amount of food is different, so even if there were "guidelines" on the can of A/D, it wouldn't help you much. The best thing you can do is to get a scale (for ex., a baby scale that measures in small increments) to keep track of Chase's weight. When a cat is fighting illness, his body can use up lots of calories. By keeping close track of his weight, you'll be able to tell if he's getting enough food/calories.

Chase's gums being dry could be a sign of dehydration, especially since you said he isn't drinking much. Even slight dehydration, especially for a sick kitty, can make him feel awful. Are you still doing sub-Q fluids? Unless there's another reason (since his heart is fine) not to do sub-Q's, it would be *very* beneficial for Chase. Also, if your vet will give you the B-12 shots (or a bottle of B-12 and syringes) to take home, you can administer them through the sub-Q fluid line; just get a line that has a port. This would be much easier and less stressful on Chase (and you) than having to go to the vet each week for the shot. It's also one less needle stick for Chase, which is a good thing. If the prednisone shot can be given subcutaneously (rather than intramuscular) you could also do those at home.

Hope the valium continues to work and makes Chase want to eat.
post #55 of 82
Thread Starter 
Neither vet recommended doing the chemo. With the condition he is in, they didn't think it would be worth it anymore at this point. I'm really not sure how I could afford to do it either way, as much as I hate to have money play any part in it.. Do you have any idea how much it tends to add up to?? I wonder if they'd change their minds if he was able to gain some weight from being fed first..

Chase is eating very small amounts on his own, but I'm still mostly having to feed the food to him. However, it DOES seem to be helping. He was a lot perkier today, strolling around the house and even insisting on getting attention from my grandfather when he came over. I keep trying to tempt him with things to eat on his own. I hope he will as he regains a little strength. Next week the pet store is getting some digestive enzymes for cats in.. I think I'll get some and mix it into his food to help him along. Right now things seem to be kind of slow moving through his system.

The line for his Sub-Qs has a little green plastic thing that I think may be a port? I will definitely ask the vet if it is possible to use that so he doesn't have to go in so often. And I will see if I can find a scale that isn't too crazy price-wise, that's a good idea.
post #56 of 82
I did chemo for my Louie, but that was a long time ago, back in '99-2000.
I don't remember specifically how much it was - I remember the meds were different for each treatment, so they weren't always the same price. It was probably about $100 per treatment.

Have you done any research about Chase's condition? There's some discussion of the similarities between lymphoma and IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease is the proper name; I had mistakenly been calling it Irritable Bowel Disease or Syndrome). I didn't realize it, but apparently lymphoma can only be definitively diagnosed with a biopsy. There are different types of lymphoma, high and low grade. Each has a different prognosis.

I'm glad Chase seems to be perkier - the food is certainly helping him. If he'll eat from your finger, that's fine, as long as he eats. It's good that you're continuing to encourage him to eat on his own, too.

You might want to try other canned cat foods to assist-feed Chase. The A/D is ok for the short term, but they've changed the formula. Pork is one of the major ingredients now, which isn't great for cats. I think it contains corn too, which can be tough for some cats to digest. You can try Wellness, which has many grain-free flavors, and is actually higher in calories than the A/D and higher quality. I use it to assist-feed my cat. The chicken flavor has 220 calories per 5.5 oz can compared to the A/D which contains 180 calories. My vet has told me that the average cat needs 200 calories per day, with ill kitties usually requiring even more.

Digestive enzymes might help. I've been using them for a long time now. There are lots of brands available - I use Prozyme.

If Chase is constipated, try mixing about 1/4 teaspoon *plain* (no pie mix - it has spices) canned pumpkin into each meal. Cats usually like the taste. Most times the kitty will feel better in a day or two.

About the B-12 : try to get the vet to sell you a bottle of it, even if you won't be doing many B-12 shots. If she sells it to you per syringe, it will be more expensive, about $10-15 per shot. You should be able to get a bottle of B-12 for about $10.

I think the "green plastic thing" you see in your sub-Q fluid line is an injection port. It should be shaped like a "y" and have a little cap on the part that protrudes off the main line. That's where you'd administer the syringe of B-12 - right into and through the center of the cap, where you'll see a tiny circle.
You have to make sure to give some plain sub-Q fluid first, at least 1/2 the amount you'd normally give, then inject the B-12 into the port, then run the rest of the fluid in. The reason to do some fluid before the shot is that B-12 can sting unless it's given into a little "pocket" of fluid.

If you want, I can give you the name of the company I buy my fluid supplies from. They sell by the case, 12 1000mL bags. You can also get syringes for the B-12 shots, and assist-feeding syringes too. It is *much* less expensive than buying them from your vet.

Fingers crossed that Chase continues to eat and improve
post #57 of 82
you can buy b-12 for injections online w/o a prescription. several people on my wls bulletin board use it for themselves. syringes are available online, too, or at your local pharmacy [sub-q]. here's a place several of them use: calvet supply injectable b-complex
calvet supply syringes.
post #58 of 82
Thread Starter 
I actually have a can of Wellness Chicken & Herring I tried to tempt him with.. He used to absolutely love it, though he showed no interest when I offered it to him. Maybe I'll alternate that and the A/D until that runs out, then look into a more plain flavor in case he does have some food issues aggravating things.

I'm not sure if he's actually constipated or if things are just moving slowly.. I haven't caught him straining at all, so I don't think there's too much of a problem. But I think I'll get some of the canned pumpkin just in case he ends up needing it next time I go to the store.

How much do you pay for the fluids when you buy them like that? I've been getting them for $5/bag, which didn't seem too terribly bad, so I never looked into any other ways of getting it. Getting the bottle of the B-12 does sound a lot cheaper, I'll ask about that next week, and compare it to the online price.

The more I read about the different possibilities, the more I wonder if I should spring for the rather steep cost of seeing a specialist to see what they think. It would also involve an hour trip, which I worry about just as much as the cost with how it would stress him. Maybe if he got his daily valium right before then... though it doesn't really seem to have any sedative effect on him at that dose. It just makes him a little unsteady sometimes.
post #59 of 82
No advice, just wanted to send hugs and hope you can find a routine that helps him.
post #60 of 82
You can buy the fluids and needles at costco with a prescription. I buy fluid (saline chloride) and it is $18 for a case (you can't buy them individually there). I know they have lactacted ringers also. You don't have to belong to Costco to go to their pharmacy.
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