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Old-ish Cat -- Painful Situation (For both the Owner and cat)

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone...

It pains me to know that my first thread, on what appears to be a great, loving community, has to be about my cat's current situation...

So she's... about 13 years old. Quite an oldie huh...? Her story is pretty interesting. Me, my aunt and grandmother, were taking a stroll through a local forest and we heard some "meowing" coming from inside this thorn riddled plant... After closer inspection we saw 3 kittens all very young, I couldn't just pull them out because I could actually hurt them with the thorns.. But my passion for cats was (and is!) so huge that I rolled up my sleeves and started smashing up the thorny plant (Sorry Nature, it was for a good cause..) and eventually made way for them all to be safely extracted... It was an interesting situation... One of the kittens was black, another white and another striped (gray and black with hints of white) and sure enough, I had to pick the odd one, the striped one! So we brought them to my aunt's house etc... And they drank milk like crazy, really hungry.

In the end, I ended up "adopting" that cool looking feline and named her "Nani" (No not the footie player at all. WAY before he was even known) and brought her to her new home.

Now, after all these years of happiness and a healthy life, she had barely ANY trip to the vet and was never seen under the weather... Until recently that is...

It's been really hot here (Portugal...), temperatures going to about 32ºC or even 35s... And unfortunately for our beloved cat, we don't currently have a/c... So it gets pretty hot usually. I'm pointing this out because recently she started going extremely (apparently) lazy.. walked a bit and would just bog down and lay on the floor... I thought it was because of the heat, so we set up more drinking spots for her all over the house, to ensure she would never be short on water... Unfortunately she started losing interest in both eating and drinking.. doing both of those in very small amounts, and her behavior was becoming very apathetic... Little to no interest in her surroundings was really troubling as she was always "on her toes" and very curious... So I took her to a local vet, the first time one night.. I didn't even have the guts to take her there and had to ask my parents to do so (The thought of losing her or just receive bad news made me have a complete breakdown - I was in complete tears, just holding her before my parents took her to the vet and when the door closed, the sight inside was not pretty for at least 30 minutes, before I calmed down.) and soon after, with feelings of anxiety mixed with fear, I called them and they said they were waiting for the blood-test results... Soon after they came home.

They couldn't really specify the problem... But she had relatively high sugar levels, so all seemed to point towards diabetes... I was shattered.
However the vets told us to get a urine sample and go there the next day. So we did (Yes I went this time) and to my surprise I wasn't told that her Hemogram had not been analyzed the night before and they had just received the results. Suddenly I was confronted with the idea of my cat having no diabetes (Sugar level rising due to stress)... But instead have a very big infection. I was told that the white blood cell count was supposed to be at around 18, and the report showed my little baby had 32, which was considered very high. Okay, some more hours of waiting without my beloved cat...
Then I was called in to go pick her up and get the "scoop" on what was going on... So I went, and I was greeted by a not-so-positive vet that started going through all the mumbo-jumbo about the cat's situation... Apparently she had a tumor in one of her breasts that even if not malignant, was straining her immune system and thus allowed infections to take advantage of the situation... She was reported to have a bladder infection, and on a not so serious note she had a small number of feces and gas in her stomach.

She was prescribed with an anti-biotic for the infection (Small pills), "Laxatone" (Gel for fecal obstruction etc - Laxative) and a food can that supposedly is very nutritious in small doses, so it'd be perfect for her since she ate in such small doses. (Mousse like food that was said to be given 3 times a day, 2-3ml only)... So I thought everything would be fine in just some weeks (15 pills - 1 every 12 hours)

It's been about 2 days since that.. And I know she dislikes the fact that I NEED to "shove" the pills down her mouth... (Open mouth and stick it inside, surely she can't spit it out.) and the Laxatone has to also be applied in a similar way..

The real reason for this post, after all that ranting, is simple ... I just wanted to give as much detail about her as possible so I .. kind of got carried away I guess. Anyway... I would like to ask for a few advices on how to handle this whole sudden-illness case... Since she never EVER needed this much extreme health care, I'm quite clueless.. And would love some downright and simple advice to how I can improve her condition...

I'm open to every advice, I'm desperate... I feel pretty down, and consider her condition as my own fault... My parents have even told me I'm beginning to have symptoms of depression. But I can't help it, she's been my lifelong partner and I'm not ready to lose her. I really am not.

Anyway... Thanks for going through all that reading, if you did, I know I ranted on about a couple of things... This took quite a while to type but I don't really care because I really love her and I'd hate to lose her now...

Thank you for reading, and I seriously hope a reply comes soon ...

Oh, and have a picture of my beloved one too!

She's extremely beautiful.
post #2 of 26
Can you get pill pockets. I use that for my 16 year old Cat. You can also try liquid meds. What antibiotic is she on? When my Coco was 9.5 she almost died. Her Sugar was 329 and I was told Diabetes also but it wasnt. It was Fia with infections. I hope your cat will be ok. Can you use fans since you do not have A/C?
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the quick reply...

She's currently on Amoxival ABs ... I doubt I can get her to eat them through the pill pockets, since she has very little appetite... Unfortunately... She usually eats just a little of the food the vet provided and a little of milk...

I've been making sure she eats at least a bit before taking the ab, for obvious reasons... and she does, even if in small amounts... Her current "schedule" is to get one at Midday and the other one at midnight...
post #4 of 26
My Cat was on Cefa Drops but they made her throw up.
Clavamox did also so we went to Baytril.
I do not think older Cats here get the Med you Cat is taking.
I hope you can get her to eat.
Sometimes they will not eat when they are taking Antibiotics.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
I sure hope so too... I mean, for god's sake... She's basically my everything right now... We've been glued to eachother for too long...

Another thing I noticed is... Sometimes when I massage her in the belly, like... slide hand from bladder to just before the front legs... She sometimes shakes and starts purring... I've heard purring can be related to pain... to these two mean she's in pain or just as happy as she can be right now..?

Thank you again... I really appreciate the replies... :')
post #6 of 26
Has she had a Urine Test. Coco did that from bladder pain. When she was 13 she started getting baldder problems.
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Yes, she's had a urine test and the only problem was the sugar levels that were a bit higher than usual, but that turned out to be stress from going to the vet and all that...

I don't know what to do... She's shaking in bed even now... Not constantly but.. from time to time... It's 6AM and I still haven't slept because I've been keeping my eye on her...
post #8 of 26
What is the temp inside? Can you take her back to the Vet? I do not like that she is shaking. Has she panted?
post #9 of 26
I can understand what you're going through emotionally; four months ago, I lost my girl after 18 years together, just the two of us, and her final year was very difficult for both of us as age took its toll.

I'm confused about your situation because you don't mention the vet's recommendation for the tumor. Are they waiting for the infection to subside before surgery? I would think that removal of the tumor would be essential to your cat's long-term health. If this is the case, please don't be too concerned, as animal medicine has advanced much like human medicine, and surgery should not be a problem for your cat.

The administration of the meds is essential, and I'd advise you to do it even though it may seem to stress the cat. When my girl was old and lethargic, it was actually easier to administer meds, although she still hated it. I had to keep reminding myself that it was for her own good. If it becomes too difficult, I'd suggest contacting the vet to see if there might be a different way to administer the meds. For example, when my cat had a serious infection, the vet gave me oral meds for her, and I asked why they didn't give her a shot to help combat the infection before we left the hospital. The vet admitted that it hadn't occurred to her and that it would help the cat to get such a shot to "jump start" the treatment. Sometimes you have to remind the vet of the situation with your cat--i.e., that it's not taking the meds well, for example.
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies people ...

The temps inside are usually from 27 to 30ºC but we usually have ATLEAST one fan etc in every part of the house especially in my room (Where she hangs out the most) Her shaking by the way, is like when they stretch after sleep, you know? But without the paws stretching, but it feels like the same way as when she stretches her limbs.

HappilyRetired - I'm so sorry to hear that you've lost your baby It must've been so hard after 18 years... Unfortunately, I don't need to imagine the whole situation as I've been feeling pretty low myself... About the tumor, the vet said we should wait a little and see if she improves on meds alone, we're going back there when her medication ends, and if she sees advancement in the tumor's evolution then she'll lay out our options about it... It is the reason I mentioned no detail about the vet's opinion on the tumor, I was given none atm.

Again, thank you for your great replies... It feels good to have someone that understands these situations and the issues with cats, around... I had no one to talk to about her basically... except for the vet that is... So, from the bottom of my heart... Thank you.
And I'm sure she would thank you all too
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Okay I know I'm not supposed to double post in forums.. But I have an update on her condition...

She seems to be a bit better today, I went to woke her up today at around 11:50 AM for her medicine... She responded nicely with a small "meow" as I touched her... Took her down and filled up a bowl with some wet food and the a bit of the one the vet prescribed for her. She took up nearly the entire bowl! I was happy that she was starting to eat better because that meant less strain from the ABs... After eating I gave her the Amoxival and then let her be for a while... She went on one of the kitchen's chairs and has been around there for a while just asleep. I believe she deserves some rest after such rough days... So I've been letting her be, she wiggles her tail every now and then to show me she's still alive and kicking so that keeps me happy and not scared..

Now I'm just waiting on the ABs prescription to finish and I gotta still treat her intestinal constipation .. Even though she actually had one of her own today! Not just small either, so I guess things are looking up for her... Thank god
post #12 of 26
I've been reading your posts and want to wish Nani a very speedy recovery, she is a very beautiful girl, and I'm glad she is doing better.

Many Prayers for a full recovery.
post #13 of 26
My vet tech recommended dabing a bit of butter in the pill before giving it to any of my cats. Seems the coating is a bit dry and hard to swallow(ever take an aspirin without water?) and the butter helps the pill go down.

My senior will be 19 1/2 next month-I don't know how he is still alive-he is all skin and bones-lost a bunch of fur-I will have to make a decision on him in the next couple of months so I can understand your situation.

Good luck I hope she gets better!!
post #14 of 26
I am glad she is better.
post #15 of 26
Hi bugga12,

So good to hear your honey is doing better.

When we were trampled by 3 hurricanes we went without electric for weeks at a time. The majority of our feline kids are young but our diabetic at the time was 14 yrs. Without electric the heat reached unbearable conditions which affected our diabetic's health, what we ended up doing is throughout the day we wiped her down with a cool cloth this really seemed to help along with a fan run by a generator.

Maybe this could work for your baby.
post #16 of 26
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
My vet tech recommended dabing a bit of butter in the pill before giving it to any of my cats. Seems the coating is a bit dry and hard to swallow(ever take an aspirin without water?) and the butter helps the pill go down.
i always do this w/pills, too.
glad to hear she seems to be feeling more like herself!
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks a whole bunch for the great tips!

She just ate a WHOLE bowl by herself! She's currently taking "Gourmet Gold" And she actually loved it! Small squares with mousse, Salmon and Chicken...

I'm gonna try administering her pill tonight with some butter as it may relieve the stress for the cat to swallow it.. Thank you for that and for all the hope sent to my love.

I'll update her condition soon.. Let's see how it goes..

Edit - Oh yes, I also administered some Laxatone to treat her intestine problems since it may be because of fur-ball build up.
post #18 of 26
Nani is very beautiful. Sending lots of healing vibes to your precious girl
post #19 of 26

I hope Nani makes a speedy recovery. It sounds like a bunch of manageable things all adding up to make her feel horrible. Once she gets regular again she will probably feel somewhat better.
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
Well... It's been a while since I last posted.. Since she seemed to have recovered fully...

Last week, Nani started acting strange again, panting and noticeable shortness of breath..
So I took her to the vet for a check-up, the worst symptom was all her self-care like grooming and the like had stopped. Her fur was losing the sparkle it once had and again my heart was shattering to bits...

Apparently her tumor developed into a malignant one .. Without much that could've been predicted or even be seen (The outside look remained the same, while it started spreading inside) ... They made some X-rays regarding the lungs and... unfortunately it had already spread across both lungs... Nothing could be done, they administered her with ABs and Cortisone ... And told us to check back in again in 15 days... This was on the 20th .. She became gradually worse with extreme shortness of breath just from moving from her basket to her drinking spot (about 2-3 meters at most.)

Today, at about 5pm she started having shortness of breath just about everytime, never regaining full breath and was, obviously, suffering... I took the ultimate choice... And according to the vet it was also the best choice...

I decided to let my egoistical self go for a bit... And to give her up, after all.. hogging and caring for her 24/7 wouldn't make her any better... And delaying this would just make her go through so much more suffering...

At 6:30PM we dropped by the vet... And explained the situation... They immediately set up a room just for us and made Nani feel comfortable .. Then they explained the procedure... 1 tranquilizing shot... and then the shot to stop her lungs and heart...

The procedure went on... they shaved one of her paws and needled her up with a bit of serum ... After some minutes he injected the first tranquilizer and in a matter of seconds, without even warning us, injected the lethal anesthetic ... in just... 2 seconds her pupils were gone and she no longer moved... I suppose it was painless for her... but so painful for me... She'd been with me since... I was a child basically... I do NOT know how to live without that princess...

In all my despair due to watching her body... remain motionless... amidst all those tears I "Talked" With her for a while, rubbing her and kissing her goodbye ... after all that I left my princess get her eternal sleep.. And came home.

I will never be the same without her.

R.I.P. - Nani 29/10/08...

Note - Since I had started the thread back in the summer with the situation... I thought it was only noble to update everyone that helped me while I needed... Thank you everyone... Thank you.
post #21 of 26
I just caught up with your thread.

From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry about your baby.

You and Nani had a very special connection and I understand, having recently lost one of my own precious babies, how painful this is. You did the most difficult thing in the world, the last thing you'd ever want to do, by making the decision to stop Nani's suffering. You put her before yourself, taking wonderful care of her right to the last second.

I wish it had turned out differently for you and Nani. But you made all the difference in her life by rescuing her 13 years ago. You were both very lucky.
post #22 of 26
So sorry about your cat.
post #23 of 26
RIP Nani

I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
post #24 of 26
i'm glad you had a couple more months with her. you made that most difficult, but also most loving of decisions. she's happy & healthy once more, over the bridge
post #25 of 26
I think most of us here have gone through something similar in our lives with a special beloved pet so we understand how you are feeling. Nani had a world of love from you for all those years and you did what you could. The rest is in God's hands. Hugs and special thoughts go out to you to help you find peace and healing.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
I thank all of you for all the kind words... It has been a tough day overall. I need to sort of.. reboot my whole brain, without the thought of having her around me... And it's not easy. Every noise, every rustle, in MY mind... it's her...

Anyway.. I have to keep myself together.. right?

Thanks again, for all the warm words.
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