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New member, kitty newly diagnosed arthritis.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello, I'm a new member and this is my first post. I have 3 cats but my cat of concern right now is Zeus, my 11 1/2 year old apple head siamese boy. He has congenital heart disease (left ventricular hypertrophy) and a couple days ago we thought he may have a saddle thrombus. By the grace of God the cardiologist ruled that out and he was diagnosed with arthritis. He was formerly overweight, now being at just over 12 lbs. All the cats are fed Felidae and treated with Purrrfectly fish. He has never shown any signs of arthritis, though with hindsight, he is the only one that doesnt' jump on the counter, but will cry to be picked up. He jumps off himself. He's never shown pain with standing, walking, running, jumping, etc. This was a very acute problem after having a chase down with our dog. The dog did not injure him, but I believe the sudden chase is what started up the acute flair.

We are to have him on his Buprenex for 2 weeks and if there is no improvement they will do a joint tap.

I'd like some information, more than was given by the vet, regarding caring for a cat with arthritis, restricting contact with housemates, jumping after his initial flair, weight management, length of recovery from initial flair, brands of glucosamine and chondroitin that are good to use (of course all the brands on the net are the best). Any other supplements recommended?

Also, any advice on feeding him with his heart disease would be appreciated. His heart disease was diagnosed as a kitten and has seemingly not progressed, but after this clot scare I am determined to never have to go through the real thing, within all my power. Is Felidae okay for cats with heart disease? He has started to show some narrowing, quoted as "Left ventricular outflow tract velocity is mildly increased and shows a dynamic obstruction consistent with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy". So, he does have some blockage that she didnt' seem concerned with, but I am. I will also be getting him put on a beta-blocker as soon as we are on the road to recovery with the leg. They've always told me that it just hasn't come to that yet, but I think now is the time.

This is literally all I know. When I brought him in for the ultrasound she had the surgeon look at him and he said his back legs were "crunchy", meaning crepitus. He said he saw arthritis and some bone deterioration. I feel like I don't know enough but don't know what else to ask.

I'm just getting over the shock of all of this and my brain has started functioning again after our scare. We literally had already sat down with the kids and explained that Zeus was very sick and the doctors would not be able to fix him and that he would be in a lot of pain if he survived and without saying anything, my husband and I had already made our decision. We are thrilled to have him with us longer so I'll take this arthritis as a blessing.
post #2 of 6
I can help with arthritis. Coco my old Cat has it. She hasit pretty bad. They gave her a Metacam Shot in Nov because the pain was so bad. She also has Buprenex when it gets bad. My Cat is will be 16 anyday. She has had it for a long time. Is the Buprenexr Is theres anything you want to know about arthritis? Coco has had it for a long time.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I want to know everything about it. He seems to be in so much pain and only takes a few steps before laying down and having a hard time maneuvering in the litter box. My elder dog has had arthritis her whole life and it has never been anything like this. Do you give suppliments? I also wonder if I should maybe have him lose some more weight and be more on the underweight side. What are the restrictions for cats with arthritis. They have their feeding stations on the counter now but I feed them only when the dogs aren't around to get at their food so I can change that.

He is in my bathroom for recovery. I have a high bed and I'm afraid he would get up and down from there when on the way to recovery and reinjure if it is too soon. So far he hasn't done much more than lay down but I'm so paranoid of him hurting himself once he starts to improve. Of course, this being so new, I wonder if he'll learn to compensate for that weak leg.

I just want to know what we have to look forward to as far as initial recovery from this flair and future flairs.
post #4 of 6
Coco can not jump on Counters. We keep her food on the floor. She jumps on the Sofa and Loveseat fine. Is it just in one leg? Coco has it in her paws,elbow,spine,back legs. She does ok with it. Weightloss might help your Cat some. Coco has Allergies and Asthma too so she can not take alot of Meds. She also is on C/D because her Bladder Infections. Is your Cat on any other Meds. Coco gets Pred when her Asthma acts. Coco was about 11 when she got arthritis. How does your Cat walk?
post #5 of 6
You could try offering a heating pad on low, or a heated pet bed--often they have an easier time rising from the heated beds, which seem to help ease their painful joints.

For a litterbox, you'll want to pick one with low sides--I use a plastic under-the-bed box without the lid, since it is larger and has lower sides than most litterboxes. My bed is somewhat high, and Odo will often circle around it trying to find the best place to jump up (he's not the brightest and hasn't figured out that a put a Rubbermaid bin at the end of the bed so he wouldn't have to jump so high). There are also pet stairs available at many stores, including Bed, Bath and Beyond, or you could make a ramp out of some plywood and carpet or felt.

As far as supplements, there are lots to choose from. With Odo, I've used Cosequin, Synovi-Feline, and Zuke's Hip Action treats. All of them seem to help some (when I remember to give them). With the Synovi, I had to mix it into the food to get Odo to eat it, plus Zek (my youngster who doesn't need any joint help) wanted to eat it too. Cosequin was nice because Odo would eat it with me just sprinkling it over the canned food. Both cats love the Zuke's Hip Action treats, so those are really easy to give.

Is he on any medications or supplements for his heart problems?
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Up until now they've always said that it wasn't necessary for heart medication. Even now it is just because we have a younger dog in the house and there this narrowing so we will be starting a beta-blocker in the near future. She wants him to get over this bought of arthritis first. I am interested in supplements too if you have suggestions for the heart. I feed my dogs animal heart for heart health. I could cut some up for Zeus too as I imagine it would be helpful for him also. My elder dog has a healthy heart but the pup is a doberman and they have high incidence of heart disease so I started him on heart from a puppy.

This started when I was shampooing carpet which always gives the cats a fit and gets the puppy excited. Zeus ran upstairs and Jordan took chase. I shut off the machine, went up and opened my bedroom door for Zeus to let him get in there away from the noise and pup. I found them when I got up just like I always do, Zeus swatting and puppy just happy that Zeus is paying attention to him. After shampooing I went up to the bedroom and Zeus came out walking up to me barely moving his back legs. They were not paralyzed, but very difficult to move for him. He seemed clueless. When we went to the vet she noticed some decreased circulation, coolness and color, in his right leg and diagnosed saddle thrombus and took x-rays of the chest area finding what she thought looked like CHF. She is a former EVet and I even saw the area she suspected as CHF, however, at the followup in the next morning there was no fluid (he had been given Lasix) and she said that his blood work showed no muscle damage so this was inconsistent. Immediate relief for me, meaning that this was highly unlikely a thrombus.

She did the echo and had a surgeon come in for examination of the legs. He felt a lot of crepitus in both the legs, but the right moreso, which is the one Zeus is having more difficulty with. It was difficult to tell at first, however as he has made slight improvement I can tell it is worse on the right. After reviewing the x-rays all I was told is that there is arthritis and bone degeneration. I am going to consult with my regular vet today to get a further description as I'm sure he's had a chance to review the records.

Zeus is only taking a few painful steps at a time right now before laying down and he is in a small space for healing, but he is enjoying the frequent visits from me and the kids as long as I'm in there to keep them low-key. The other cats are not that thilled with him being injured and are voicing their displeasure so they are being kept away.

I'm going to have my hubby make a ramp for when Zeus starts feeling better. That is a great idea. I've seen the steps, but he would still have quite a jump from the top step with our high bed, but a ramp would be perfect.
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