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Some Advice Please

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. Long time since I posted. Last time it was about Lucy our very elderly cat. Well, she's still going strong even though I know that every day we have her is a blessing.

Anyway, this is not about Lucy this time, but about Spook our lovely jet black cat.

I've had Spook since he was a kitten. He's just over 12 years old now.

Over the past 2 weeks Spook has lost a lot of weight - enough to make me very concerned. He came in the other night limping and holding his front leg up so we've confined him indoors. It also lets me see exactly what he's doing. He's eating and drinking normally but is more lethargic than he would normally be. We have had quite hot and oppressive weather here over the past few weeks (UK) but this is something that's never bothered him before.

His coat also feels out of condition.

I'm going to have a word with my vet tomorrow to see if I can get some tests done. We don't have any money spare, so I'm hoping my vet will allow us some kind of payment plan. I would have gone today but I've been ill myself. Think I managed to get a mild dose of food-poisoning. I'm only just starting to feel better now.

I'm suspecting Spook might have an over-active thyroid, given the sudden weight loss but I'm not a vet.

Anyone had a similar, sudden unexplainable weight loss happen to their cat and if so, what caused it?
post #2 of 15
I did with Yoshi and his Kidneys were full of stones. He went from almost 15 pounds to 8.2 pounds. When he was pts he was down to 5.2 pounds from 7.5 about 3 weeks earlier. I hope the vet will let you do some kind of payment plan. My old Cat used to be over 10 pounds but is only 7.2 pounds now. Cats with Crf lose weight also. I had Cats with taht and they lost weight. I hope he will be ok.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
CRF did flash through my mind as did over-active thyroid problems. The only sure way to find it is via a blood test (very expensive over here - at least £120 = $240) but I think it is necessary and the only way we'll find out and treat the problem accordingly.

Another thing is I've had Spook to the vets 3 times this year already. We have a feral cat that keeps coming round. He's an entire Tom and has managed to get into our house several times. He comes in to help himself to my cats' food. He constantly picks fights with Spook (who was neutered at 6 months old) which ends up with Spook getting abscesses.

This cat has become such a problem, not just for me but other cats in our street that over the weekend I will be trying to trap him and get him in the care of the Cats Protection League. I've never seen such an aggressive cat in my life. He's scared of humans but a real bully with other cats. It's a real shame because he is a very pretty tabby and I suspect someone's dumped him at some time. He's not old, maybe 18 months to 2 years old.

I hope he can be neutered and tamed as he would then make a lovely pet for someone but it doesn't help my cat in the meantime.
post #4 of 15
I hope you can catch him. We just moved here last week and had the door open because the A/C broke and some huge white cat tried to come in. Maybe your cat has a infection from something. My Vet is expensive for blood tests also. How old are your cats?
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Eldest is coming up for 20 (Lucy - beautiful Tortie & White). Our youngest are two cross Bengal boys, given to me by a work colleague. They're 14 months old, still technically kittens but already they are bigger than the rest of my cats!

The rest of my cats (I have 12) are 3, 9 and 10 years old.

We also have two of our neighbour's cats who have decided our house is their second home and spend more time with us than they do a their own home, probably because said neighbour doesn't look after them. Most times they are locked out in all weathers and often they go hungry

They are only a year old and two beautiful ginger cats.
post #6 of 15
I would wonder parasites or worms. Just something else to think about. When you go to the vet bring along a stool sample so that they can check it too.

Aggressive Toms can wreak havoc for the other cats. I would keep them inside until he is trapped. He could have some sort of infectious disease or bring in fleas. There are many things I would be concerned about having him around.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
My biggest concern is this Tom is so aggressive. Neutering would sort that out and that is what the CPL intend to do then release him back into the area. Releasing him is not the option I would have chosen but they have over 200 cats to rehome justnow - the effects of our having a recession here. Many people have had their homes repossessed so just abandon their pets

If I didn't have so many cats of my own, I probably would at the very least foster him and try and tame him. He is such a pretty cat. My guess is he's belonged to someone and when he's started spraying, instead of getting him neutered, they've just thrown him out.

He will stop and look at me. I see in his eyes the look that says "I would like to come to you, but I'm scared you'll hurt me"

Very sad, and very sad that I'll have to resort to frightening him even more by trapping him. Poor, unwanted little soul
post #8 of 15
I have one like that in my neighborhood too. This fella is neutered, he came from a shelter, he had a number on his collar, I called gave the number and they told me he was neutered. The people who owned him moved and left him there. I don't understand how people can be so cruel. Any way, I feed him, I leave out food and water for him and I use a plastic storage container with the lid on and cut a nice opening for him to get in and out of in the bad weather, with towels and straw to keep him warm in the winter. Thats the only thing I can do, because I have nine cats of my own, all indoor. I'd love to take him in but he's very vicious. I hope your little one will be alright, good luck
post #9 of 15
I hope you have had a vet appointment and that it is nothing too serious. I am surprised that bloods are that expensive where you are though, even the most expensive test the lab my vet uses plus a consult is less than what you posted, I just paid £108 for consult, the most thorough blood test and some meds (2 jabs and some ab's), and it is similar for the blood test and booster.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Update on Spook.

Just came back from the vets and he suspects an overactive thyroid. We've to go back to get the blood tests done tomorrow afternoon. Cost for the blood test is £63, plus consultation of £28 and that is not for the all singing and dancing blood test either! That would have cost £110 plus consultation. Our vet is pretty sure it's thyroid problems and thinks the test will show this up.

I've been keeping Spook inside (much to his disgust) so I can monitor him. His appetite is huge. He's eating 1 1/2 400g tins of cat food a day. I have noticed that his faeces are runny - a classic sign of hyperthyroidism, same as in a human (my late mother had hyperthyroidism).

Vet told me it is very common in older cats and Spook is 12. He's also going to test for diabetes and CRF. I have to try and get a urine sample from Spook tonight (Oh Joy ) so hopefully we'll get the problem sorted out quickly.

Anyone else got a cat with hyperthyroidism?
post #11 of 15
my parents had a cat with hyperthyroidism and after diagnosis she went on to live a very happy 2 years. she did have part of the thyroid gland removed and the difference in her was quite amazing.

she was a tiny little thing before becoming ill and although she never gained much weight, with treatment she had a pretty good quality of life.

i'm sorry that you're going through this with spook, the horrific vet costs don't help at all!
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
I hope to have Spook for a long time yet. I don't consider 12 to be that old nowadays as I have a 19 year old tortoiseshell who's partially blind and crippled (we got her as a rescue 12 years ago after she'd suffered horrendous cruelty) and a 14-15 year old, another rescue so exact age isn't known.

I don't know how long it takes to get the results back (will find out tomorrow) but I'm going to be on tenterhooks until I get the results back.

I know Spook will probably need medication for the rest of his life and thankfully he's really good about getting medication - not like my Tortie Tart I mean Cat who's an absolute nightmare

The cost is a consideration because we're on a very limited income but our vet has known us for years and if there had to be an op or something expensive, they'd work something out with us.

If, however, there is something else wrong that would lessen Spook's quality of life, then I would have to consider the unthinkable. I have always said that if any of my animals, and I've got a lot, were to lose their quality of life and were suffering I'd have no hesitation in getting them PTS. I will never let any of my beloved pets suffer.

The sad thing is, most of my cats are in double figures age-wise and I know I'm not going to have them forever as old-age takes it's toll.
post #13 of 15
i hope you have him for a long time too. i have known of a few cats who have lived to 25. i am yet to have one live past 15.

i did also know of another cat who was diagnosed at about 14 with this illness, she then went on to the grand age of 20, which i think was very impressive!

i don't know your situation obviously and i don't want to pry but i wondered if you would be able to get help from the PDSA? i used them for a number of years and they were fantastic, saved my rb lurcher from certain death when he needed an operation. i hope you don't mind me mentioning this.
post #14 of 15
Hyper-t can be easily treated, although i do know of a cheaper way to get meds, I shall pm you. I can't beleive how much your vet charges for consultations, I thought mine was bad at £20.50!!
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Vet phoned this evening with the results of the blood test.

Very definitely hyperthyroidism so he's been put on Vidalta Carbimazole. Will be getting his first pill shortly.

We've to go back in two weeks time for a further blood test and check how Spook is getting on. We will then discuss further options (i.e. thyroidectomy).

Tab. PDSA isn't really a consideration because we don't have a PDSA in this town. Some of the vets (including ours) do some work for the PDSA but your pet has to have a clean bill of health first (defeats the purpose of the PDSA I think) and if your pet has a health problem already, they won't look at you. I believe the nearest PDSA centre to us is in Bristol and they won't take anyone outside the area.
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