or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Help, my cat is very ill and at the hospital.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help, my cat is very ill and at the hospital.

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
My name is Jamey and this is my first post on this forum. My wife and I have a 3 year old female, nuetered cat named Tucker. We found Tucker in a trash can when she was approx 3 weeks old. She has been to the Vet a few times since we have owned her for routine check ups. About 6 weeks ago Tuckers behavior changed and she began to lose weight. We thought it was due to a new kitten that we adopted, Andy, that Tucker was not friendly with at all. She also became nasty towards us at times, and she also stoped using her litter box (something she never ever did before the new kitten came along.) About two weeks ago we took Tucker to the Vet to see if anything was wrong. Our Vet said that Tucker was healthy, but gave her some shots, along with some Clomicalm to maybe help her mood with the new kitten. We also mentioned letting Tucker outside so she could get some alone time away from Andy, and she was always eager to get outside anyway. The Vet gave her the necessary preventative treatment so she could go outside. The bill for that visit was around $300.
Anyway, we let Tucker out for the fifth night in a row last Thursday, and she disappeared. Sunday morning she came back, but she was very tired and weak. She actually let me pick her up and hold her, something she would not let me do for a few months now. I immediately brought her in and gave her some water she she drank up quickly, but she wouldn't eat. I figured she just needed some rest so we let her sleep all day Sunday, and then kept her confined away from Andy on Monday. Anyway last night when I came home, Tucker was still sleeping. When I woke her up she did not look well at all. Her food was untouched and she could barely keep her head up to drink water. Also her eyes were half shut and she looked kind of dizzy. She is also the thinest I have ever seen her. The first thing that came to my mind is maybe she ate a mouse that had ingested some poison, or maybe she ate some herself from a neighbors house or something, but I have no idea. My wife took her to the Animal Hospital, in Linwood New Jersey, and commited to spending $1400.00 for treatments, IV's, Catheter, Normosol, and some testing including Platelet Count LaserCyte, Chemistry III SJVES, Cytology RBVH, Radiographs, Urinalysis, Cursory Ultrasound Group, Chemistry V Liver Panel SJVES, and Pcv Ts. I have no idea what any of this stuff means, but they told us the she has blood in her urin, and as of today they still do not know what is wrong. She had a fever of 107 I think when she was admitted, and today it dropped 2 degrees, and she is now hydrated, but she is still not eating on her own, and according to the doctor she is very depressed looking. Now they want another $1000 to do more testing and I don't know what to do. It seems to me that even if we come up with the extra money that it is just going to reveal something terminal that she wont survive from anyway. I really can't afford to spend anymore than the $1400. We love Tucker, but if her condition doesn't improve by tomorrow evening we are probably going to have to put her down. We called our Vet today to ask her for advise, but she didn't call us back. I also have a friend that Manages the Humane Society here, and he said he would be more than happy to have his doctor look at Tucker, but I am afraid to take her from the hospital in the condition she is in.
What I am looking for here is some advise on what to do. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 55
She might have got sick from going out.
I had a cat get out once and she almost died because she caught something even though she had shots and everything.
I did lose lucy from a shot though.
Last year my Meeko was very sicl with a high fever and would just lay there and not eat or anything.
It took days for her to get better.
Do not give up on your cat.
post #3 of 55
I'm sorry to hear about Tucker. Did the ultrasound reveal anything in the bladder? My cat had urine in his blood and ultimately has an ultrasound, which revealed a tumor in the bladder. I'm surprised none of the tests found anything.
post #4 of 55
Thread Starter 
The only ultra sound on the bill is a Cursory Ultrasound Group for $27. And I guess it didn't show anything because they did not mention finding anything. My wife said they mentioned another Ultrasound that they want to do which would cost $400 (Part of the $1000 of more testing I presume.) I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she pulls a miraculous recovery overnight.
post #5 of 55
If I were you, I'd be asking the Vets some questions:

1. Does testing so far indicate any problems with the kidneys?

2. What about the liver?

Have they ruled out your kitty having a kidney infection? These can sometimes be difficult to diagnose but with the high temp, the lethargy, the blood in the urine - well, those are classic signs. IV antibiotics would be the course of treatment. I'd ask if a kidney infection has been ruled out. The Ultrasound that was done would show if there were any issues with the kidneys that you'd see with a kidney infection.

If your kitty got into poison, you'd expect to see some impairment with the kidneys or liver......which would show up in the bloodwork. So I'd ask about this.

It's possible, too, that kitty had a bad reaction to the previous vaccines received.

I would definitely not recommend moving your cat from this hospital to another, even if it's cheaper; that would be extremely stressful for the cat and they'd have to remove the IV and then restart it. That stress itself would be hard on the cat.

Start asking some direct questions to the Vet.............about what they've checked for and what conditions have been ruled out.

Also........cats will often react to stress (eg: the introduction of a new kitten in the home) by developing a bladder infection. An undiagnosed/untreated bladder infection can progress to a kidney infection............so I'd definitely be asking them if this possibility has been considered. Do they have your cat on antibiotics?
post #6 of 55
I am so sorry that Tucker is sick.

Frankly, it absolutely stinks that your vet did not return your call. Tucker's in serious condition - your vet should make it her business to stay in touch with you. If she can't do it, she should delegate that responsibility to another doctor to ensure continuous communication with you.

With all the testing they've done so far, they still can't figure out what's wrong, so to me, keeping her there doesn't make sense anymore. However, you may have no choice being that she's in such delicate condition. It's a very hard call.

You have tough decisions to make, unfortunately. If you truly can't afford any more bills, then very sadly, you may have to put Tucker to sleep. You certainly don't want her suffering since this animal hospital doesn't know what else to do.

If you are able to find a way to keep going with treatment, there are 2 places I can recommend to you that are highly respected for advanced animal medical care:

Animal Emergency & Referral - 2 locations; Fairfield & Little Falls

Oradell Animal Hospital - Paramus

If you decide to go to either of these, make sure that your current vet faxes all test results and medical records. Neither of these animal hospitals is inexpensive, but I believe both offer some type of payment plan.

This is obviously so heartbreaking for you. Bless you and your wife for doing everything you can for Tucker. I truly hope she'll pull through.

All the best to you and little Tucker.
post #7 of 55
Thread Starter 
Ok so I just got off the phone with the Docter, and she was very nice by the way. She said that Tuckers temperature is now 104.7, and she still refuses to eat. She said that the blood in the urin was actually a result of some kind of level being to high. I'm not sure what it was called but right now it is at 3.5 and dropping slowly and normal is under 2.0. She said the dark color of the urin was a result of this level being high, and releasing something into the urin making it look darker, if that makes any sense. She also said that they ruled out mouse poison because she would be bleeding by now, and she isn't. She added that Tuckers lymph nodes are swallen, and they may take a sample with a cyringe and check it under a microscope for cancer I think, and it would not be very invasive. She said that Tucker is on Antibiotics, and maybe the best course of action would be to see how she responds over the next 24 hours. If we cant afford to keep her in the hospital, she said they will show us what to do for her at home. I will be sure to give our Vet another call in the Morning and see what she suggests, but after talking the the docter this evening, i feel a little more positive about Tucker recovering.
post #8 of 55
Thread Starter 
Heres a copy of the invoice from the hospital.
post #9 of 55
I think her young age makes it hopeful.

Especially if they've ruled out feline leukemia and some of the other things people here have mentioned.

If you can, don't give up on her. She's still so young.
post #10 of 55
Hi Jamey,

She's probably talking about the urine having had a high level of "bilirubin" (that can make the urine appear very dark). Elevated bilirubin (pronounced "billy - roobin") can be indicative of the following:

-liver disease
-kidney disease
-fatty liver disease (also known as Hepatic Lipidosis) or FIP (feline infectious peritonitis).

Just curious..........prior to you taking her to the Vet, did you notice she went a couple of days or more without eating? Sometimes the stress of a new family member can be so severe that it was result in the cat not eating. And if a cat goes for more than 24 hours without eating, particularly if the cat is a good size, it puts them at risk of developing Fatty Liver Disease (Hepatic Lipidosis). The only real treatment for it, is force-feeding a special diet.

I take it, though, that bloodwork done has included "liver enzymes"? (Alk Phos, SGOT, ALT).....I would think so, that's pretty basic when a Vet is trying to diagnose something and runs a complete panel. I'd still come right out and ask the Vet tomorrow, how her Liver Enzymes were. It's not normal to have bilirubin in the urine.

Though if they did the ultrasound (I'd imagine it included the major abdominal organs such as liver, kidneys, pancreas, gallbladder, etc), it didn't show anything.....but I know when my cat Taco developed FLD years ago, it actually took a needle biopsy of the liver to confirm the diagnosis (it was done with the assistance of ultrasound, to guide the vet in taking the biopsy from the correct spot).

Is there anyway you can request a copy of your kitty's lab results to date? YOu do have the right to ask for them. Would be good if you could scan and upload them here, would be curious to really see what's been done so far and what things are looking like. You should also request that a copy of all test results be faxed or emailed to your regular Vet, for his/her review.

I'll keep your kitty in my prayers, and you too! Do keep us posted,

Lisa & crew

Originally Posted by Jamey View Post
Ok so I just got off the phone with the Docter, and she was very nice by the way. She said that Tuckers temperature is now 104.7, and she still refuses to eat. She said that the blood in the urin was actually a result of some kind of level being to high. I'm not sure what it was called but right now it is at 3.5 and dropping slowly and normal is under 2.0. She said the dark color of the urin was a result of this level being high, and releasing something into the urin making it look darker, if that makes any sense. She also said that they ruled out mouse poison because she would be bleeding by now, and she isn't. She added that Tuckers lymph nodes are swallen, and they may take a sample with a cyringe and check it under a microscope for cancer I think, and it would not be very invasive. She said that Tucker is on Antibiotics, and maybe the best course of action would be to see how she responds over the next 24 hours. If we cant afford to keep her in the hospital, she said they will show us what to do for her at home. I will be sure to give our Vet another call in the Morning and see what she suggests, but after talking the the docter this evening, i feel a little more positive about Tucker recovering.
post #11 of 55
Thread Starter 
Thanks Lisa,
I'm going to try to go to the hospital this morning to check up on her, get the lab results, and ask some more questions. My wife recalls the doctor saying that the liver was the area of concern, and that is where the extra $1000 of testing comes into play. I will try to post the lab results either this morning, or around noon time EST.

Thanks again for everyones help here. It is very uplifting!
post #12 of 55
I'm thinking she had a problem before she ever went out. It could have been liver or kidney problems (the blood in the urine is a clue). It could have been precipitated by stress from the new kitten, or even something she caught from the new kitten, but it's hard to go back and figure it out now. Besides, it's more important to treat the problem than try to figure out the original cause.

I hope that she gets to feeling better soon.
post #13 of 55
Many many Prayers and for Tucker.
post #14 of 55
Jamey, it sounds like there has been some improvement in Tucker's condition.

I agree with Lisa, you should ask for the bloodwork results and have the vet go over the liver values with you. I don't know why an additional $1000 is required to test the liver. The vet should already have the liver values from the bloodwork that's been done, and even if they do another ultrasound with a needle biopsy $1000 seems excessive.

Lots of good wishes to little Tucker - hope she continues to improve.
post #15 of 55
Thread Starter 
Ok, I called the hospital this morning, and this docter seemed less positive, and mainly wanted to know what we wanted to do with Tucker, and reminded me that if we don't get her out of there by 7pm tonight that we will incur additional charges. I am going to call my vet this morning and see if she advises me on picking Tucker up, and bringer her to her office.
Anyway I got the lab results

post #16 of 55
Thread Starter 
One more update before I go to work. I spoke to our Vet for the first time(usually my wife takes care of all that stuff) and she was really nice. She says that Tucker is probably best off where she is, and we should go there to visit her tonight and see if she will take food from us, or respond to us. We should also ask the doctor at the hospital point blank Tucker's chances of recovery. She mentioned that in the report they got from the Hospital, that it is suspected that Tucker may have some type of incurable condition, that is hereditary, it was a three letter acronym, but I cant remember what it was. She said that the test for it was very expensive. Anyway she mentioned that Tucker was also diagnosed with a heart murmur during her last visit, and to consider Tuckers quality of life if she should somewhat recover. I feel so bad, because everything was fine until we adopted Andy. Andy is so very friendly, cute, and lovable, and I was trying so hard to make things work. Andy was giving us a hard time about using the litter box, and Tucker soon began to do the same thing. I bought a carpet cleaner, natures miracle, cleaned the furniture that was soiled, cleaned all of the carpets, bought three litter boxes with cat attractor litter, etc. etc. I tried my heart out to make things go well, and this happened. I feel awful.
Anyway, off to work I go. I will post some updates this evening when I get to a computer again. In the meantime any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again to everyone here for your compassion and advise. I will try to post some pictures of my two cats later on.
post #17 of 55
You shouldn't blame yourself in no way for this, I would think that if he's this sick, I don't see how it could be caused by another cat, and your doing everything you can for him. One of my cats Patch has a heart murmur, its a level 3, these levels are relative because some doctors think level 3 is not too good while others think its not bad. However, my boy went through 2 major operations for UTI problems, and he came through it just fine with the heart murmur. I hope Tucker will get well soon, poor baby. Keep us posted and don't forget the pictures.
post #18 of 55
I have been looking at your cats numbers and most of them are ok.
I do see some that are low and a few that are high.
I have a cat with a heart murmur and she is ok now.
I found out at the er when she almost died.
She was 3 months and is 8 years old now.
You did not cause your cat to get sick by getting another cat.
I would do everything you can for her.
I was told by a er there was no hope for my other cat and to have her pts. We took her to my vet after a few days in er and she lived.
I wonder why that liver test is so expensive?
I would not give up hope yet.
I hope she will be ok.
post #19 of 55
Just wanted to say, I'm rooting for Tucker.
post #20 of 55
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
We are going to go to the Hospital and visit Tucker, and beg her to eat something. I talked to a friend of mine that works at the Humane Society here, and he basically told me that if she isn't eating, she will most likely get worse. I mentioned taking her from the Hospital tonight and bringing her home, maybe as a last effort to try to get her to eat, and he said that might not be a bad idea. She never was one to warm up to strangers, and maybe she is totally freaked out and depressed, keeping her from recovering. The doctors at the hospital mentioned showing us what we can do for her at home, and maybe I will ask the Humane Society doctors to take a look at her tomorrow, and see if they suggest putting her to sleep.
post #21 of 55
I`m so sorry Tucker is poorly. Many healthy vibes fore her, I really hope she will get better

post #22 of 55
I hope Tucker is home with you soon please keep us updated
post #23 of 55

I had a look at the bloodwork and really, it was darn good - except that the liver enzymes were elevating a little bit, and potassium, sodium and chloride were low (potassium would be of more concern to me, I'm guessing they probably supplemented her with some in her IV?)

As for the not eating - that's definitely hard on the liver for sure.

I remember back about 10 yrs ago, I noticed that Taco had lost some weight. I had attributed it to a move which happened to be to a much warmer climate. None of my cats liked the heat (house didn't have A/C) and none were eating as much but it impacted him the most because he was such a large (okay, overweight) cat. When I weighed him I was shocked, he'd lost about 5 lbs in not very long. I took him to the Vet, fearing he was at risk of Fatty Liver Disease (Hepatic Lipidosis). They piddled around with him there for 2 days, doing bloodwork, he was getting worse (he really wasn't symptomatic when I took him in). They had him in a cage and they'd toss him a plate of canned food and he was so stressed he wouldn't eat, of course. It wasn't even his usual food, it was some yucky prescription stuff. I'd call to get updates and they'd tell me "he's not eating but we leave food for him." At one point he was getting a lot worse, they did a liver biopsy and confirmed Fatty Liver. Sadly, they were not force feeding him, I guess they expected an ill cat to just decide to eat. I watched him get weaker and worse. Finally I got so angry because he now hadn't eaten for 2 days...........I went in there, demanded the staff give me a can of Hill's A/D, grabbed a tongue depressor, climbed up onto the exam table (I was in tears and angry, he was so not like himself) and I force fed him. Of course after not eating for 2 days I fed him too much and he threw it up............but anyway, I took him the heck out of there, took him home and force fed him with a syringe around the clock for 2 weeks. They told me his only hope was for me to take him to some specialty hospital 8 hrs away and have a stomach feeding tube inserted. That was ludicrous to me, he'd have never survived the car ride.

I got cans of A/D, feeding syringes and I created a schedule where I started off feeding him so many cc's every hour, then every 2, then every 4........ensuring he'd get the max amount he required for a 24 hr period. I also gave him subQ injections of medication to keep him from being nauseated. He got subQ fluids as well. He really wasn't expected to survive but he did. I had him in a room by himself and some nights I'd sleep on the floor with him. I persisted. As he got better, he'd fight me force feeding him but I wouldn't give up. As her progressed, it was like he "forgot" how to eat on his own.......he'd seem very interested in canned food and would lick it but it was like he didn't know enough to eat it. I'd have to put a little in his mouth until he got the hang of it.

I also used the appetite stimulant Cyproheptadine (aka Periactin) and nowadays I believe there's a new one for cats called Mirtazapine. This helped a lot as he got better, to get him to eat.

A cat with liver disease that needs to eat, I'm sorry, he will just not get what he needs in a vet hospital, they are too busy to force feed it seems.

he will be a lot less stressed at home, too.

If you could get them to teach you and your wife how to give SubQ fluids as well.........to ensure he doesn't get dehydrated.

Get some feeding tubes. I used to blend a day's worth of A/D up in a blender with a bit of water so it wasn't so thick and it made syringing it easier.
post #24 of 55
Great advice from the_food_lady. My only quibble would be the term "force feeding" - folks who are doing this (myself included) now call it "assist feeding". Sounds a little nicer...

There's a great site you should take a look at - it was a huge help to me when I first started assist-feeding:

www.assistfeed.com scroll to near the bottom and click on where it says "Subscribe to Yahoo Feline Assist-feeding Group"

Ask your vet for as many oral feeding syringes as she's willing to spare. They're supposed to be single-use only, but if you rinse them in cold water you can probably get them to last through another meal (after that, the plunger starts to stick).

It's very possible that Tucker wants to eat but won't while she's at the hospital. It's too distracting and frankly, for many kitties, too scary. You might luck out that once she's home, she'll feel calm enough to resume eating on her own. One of my vets likes to say that "home is where the heart is" and suggests that many times a cat will improve just by being back where she feels safe and loved.

I also agree that you should continue to do sub-q fluids (hydration) at home. Your vet or a tech can teach you how and tell you how much to give and how often. There are lots of TCS members who do this for their cats (me too, again) so you can get plenty of help.

The_ food _lady's story about her cat was very inspiring. I hope the outcome will be the same for Tucker
post #25 of 55
Is it possible and would it be a good idea to just let Tucker be at home for a few days with you assist-feeding her? When I read the part about you taking her to the Humane Society tomorrow, it occurred to me all the running around might stress her out and further keep her from eating.

Poor baby. Hang in there, Tucker!
post #26 of 55
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone, for the advise, best wishes, and help. We sat in the waiting room, and when they brought Tucker in I tried my hardest to hold back the tears but I couldn't. Her poor little face was soooo swolen, I guess from the doctor asperating the lymphnodes under her jaw (the results under a microscope were normal by the way.). She sat down at first, and then when she heard my wifes voice she layed down to be petted. They left us alone with her for about 10 minutes or so, and I was devistated to see her so sick. She was infested with fleas, and had a tick on her neck that they had not removed. After a while she seemed to perk up a little bit, and began to pur, but would not eat any of the treats we brought. I decided it would be best to take her home. They said that they have been force feeding (assisted feeding) her, gave us the stuff to do it, with the food,along with bags of some solution and some needles to keep her hydrated. Also we were given Doxycycline to give her every 12 hours, Clavamox every 12 hours, and Buprenorphine every 8 hours. I will keep her home for a couple of days and see if things improve, as she seems happier, and more responsive at home.

More questions, they took the tick off of her, but I keep seeing fleas on her face. She is gray in color so it is hard for us to see how bad the infestation is. They said they gave her Frontline last night, should I run to the drug store and get some kind of flea shampoo? Also I was happy to hear that her temperature dropped to 103.3 degrees. Is there some kind of thermometer that I can purchase to check her temperature, like from her ear or something?

Again, thanks for all of the help here. I am really thankful I came to this forum for advise. I feel confident that we will be able to help Tucker pull out of this.
post #27 of 55
I wouldn't stress her with a flea bath--maybe buy a flea comb and use that but the frontline should start to kill them off.

Her temperature is dropping and getting closer to normal so I wouldn't be too worried about that right now. You'd have to take the temperature rectully (sp).

I would just keep her hydrated, medicated as told and fed. Definitely keep new kitten away if possible--you want her to be as relaxed and pampered as possible.

You're doing great--keep the faith!

post #28 of 55
I agree with most of what has already been said and to be honest, those fees concern me. Also, why with all that have thy not removed a tick though it possibly came from another kitty there? Her K - potassium levels are of some concern - but it all looks like it very well could be from not eating which as I just explained in another post is often caused by stress and a new cat in his territory could certainly cause that. Cats can become extremely ill from stress and even more ill from not eating - their kidneys ad livers just shut down after awhile to say it simply.

I honestly think from what I have read Tucker would be better in HIS own home - territory where there would be less stress and his peple there. You could feed him and monitor him and make an arrangement with the vet to bring him in if anything goes wrong if you live close enough to the clinic. Thy can show you how to adminiser the meds. It is hardly rocket science.

Good luck!! Oh, btw, we treat many cats with heart murmurs ad with varying degrees and the vast majority, unless there is some serious underlying medical problem, do just fine.
post #29 of 55
I would do a flea bath, particularly now - too stressful.

I once read about this on another cat health forum, years ago, for people who had very young kittens that had fleas (and at the time there wasn't anything safe for such young kittens in terms of de-flea-ing):


I remember them saying "Sunlight dish soap" was the best but this article seems to say any soapy water?
post #30 of 55
Can you use a flea comb on her.
If you do not get the fleas off her she can get anemia.
Some cats do no eat very on clavamox.
I have had it happen with my cats.
I hope she keeps getting better.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Help, my cat is very ill and at the hospital.