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Kitty with Arthritis

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My 19 year old tonkinese has developed what we believe to be Arthritis and we're not certain what to give him to help alievate the pain and possibly give him his bone strength back. Whenever he walks his front legs wiggle to stay in place and he can no longer jump up onto our washing machine, and even has difficulty jumping up onto our bed.

If anyone has ever encountered this and knows a solution or product that has helped their pet with this, I'd be very appreciative of an solution. We love our kitty and would love to see him sprint around or simply be able go wherever he wants without difficulty again.
post #2 of 21
Please see your vet. There are several supplements they can give that will help strengthen his bones/cartiledge as well as possibly some pain medication for the rough days.

One of my former foster boys had arthritis develop after a badly broken ankle and the supplements made a world of difference with him.
post #3 of 21
Coco has it bad and she gets pain meds from the vet.
post #4 of 21
My dog has arthritis in her hips. The vet of course recommended one of their supplements, but I hesitated at the price and she gave me the correct dosage of human glucosimine to give my dog. It helped quite a bit, her follow up xrays a year later showed that she had no gotten worse, in fact had gotten better as far as the xrays goes, and she lost the wobble in her hips.

Maybe you can ask your vet what the dosage would be for your cat.
post #5 of 21
Is the diagnosis of arthritis one that the vet made, or are you guessing based on her symptoms? The wobbly front legs could be related to low potassium due to renal failure, and if that is the case, there are treatments to help ease the symptoms. Only a vet can determine whether she has renal failure--they will do a blood test to check her kidney values. It's very important to determine the cause of the symptoms before treating them.
post #6 of 21
Cloud is right it can be something else.
Is the cat stiff when it gets up?
You need to see a vet.
They can do xrays.
Coco has had arthritis since she was 10.
She is 16.9 now.
She gets a pain med from the vet or a pain shot when she feels real bad.
post #7 of 21
I agree, a trip to the Vet just to verify this is, in fact, arthritis. I do know that Glucosamine/Chondroitin is very helpful for arthritis in both pets and people. You don't have to use the specially formulated Gluc/Chondr that some companies sell specifically for pets....that's just a rip-off as far as I'm concerned.......all you have to do is compare the ingredients in those ones and ensure you're giving the same amount of the human type.

If kitty has difficulty climbing up on things (geez, a washing machine is a long way to jump up for an old kitty to begin with!), try putting step stools or storage containers near these things......so kitty has a more graduated climb up (and down!). I have older kitties and I do this particularly for my bed, it's got one of those pillow-top mattresses plus a memory foam on top.......the bed is darn high and it's difficult for the oldies to jump up on (and I hate to see them jump down, that puts a lot of stress on the old joints)..so use a few different things of different height beside the bed, so they can climb up gradually.

See the Vet though, he can better advise you on what would be best to give in your kitty's particular case.
post #8 of 21
19! WOW! I hope you realize that, in human years, he is now at the ripe old human age of 92...so, it's not surprising to me that he is slowing down - just a little!

On the serious side, that age makes him geriatric. With advances in Veterinary medecine, it's now recognized that even younger cats become 'seniors' around age 10, and really need to have (at minimum) full examinations and bloodword/urinanalysis on a yearly basis. This cat really should be seen every 6 months.

I'll put forward one caution: many Veterinarians will often prescribe an oral drug for pain in cats which can be deadly: Metacam. While it is licensed for use in cats in the UK and Australia, the approval is for only miniscule amounts and for very short periods. In North America, it is NOT approved for cats, is prescribed willy-nilly in flagrently inappropriate doses and has been directly linked to serious illness and death in thousands of cats.

If your Vet determines that your cat is in pain, I would recommend that you not accept this particular painkiller - there are pleanty of safe alternatives.
post #9 of 21
Coco gets Buperprex for her arthritis.
post #10 of 21
Hi Blaise,

About 6 yrs ago I had a very old siamese kitty I'd rescued. She had CRF, and understandably, arthritis. My Vet at the time prescribed Metacam on a daily basis, for her arthritis. She admitted that it had not been approved for use in cats but felt it was a good alternative. I knew nothing about it, except what I'd read re: use in dogs. She didn't get it for very many days until I had to stop it. I gave her daily subQ fluids for her CRF and one day I noticed the whole front of her was bruised and purple. I rushed her to the Vet. they were totally clueless. I suspect it thinned her blood so much (as many anti-inflammatories can do) that when giving her fluids, i maybe nicked a vein or small vessel and it caused her to blood a lot under the tissue. Her whole chest and underside were purple and bruised, it was pretty scary. I asked the Vet on-call if this could be attributed to the Metacam and he insisted it couldn't be. I stopped it nevertheless. I shudder now to think I was giving such a nasty drug to an old cat w/ CRF.
post #11 of 21
I stopped my brother from giving Metacam yesterday.
My vet will not give oral Metacam.
His cat had surgery and they gave her that.
She had one dose before I could tell him not to use it.
The rest went down the drain.
It is not a safe drug.
post #12 of 21
I keep hearing that Metacam is so "unsafe," but it gave my girl about 4 years longer life. When she was 16, she had a tumor on her paw that was successfully removed and, fortunately, benign. A couple of days after she came home, she suddenly began moving very, very gingerly and then rarely. It was obvious that moving was terribly painful for her, and I took her to the vet.

I knew something was wrong, but when one vet said arthritis, I was skeptical because it had come on so very suddenly and severely. This is a large animal hospital, so I asked to see the senior vet that I rely on (the only one I truly trust). He took and x-ray and discovered that she had an old spinal injury (possibly from even before she adopted me when she was a year old) and that in moving her when she was anesthetized, the injury had become aggravated. He offered me Metacam, telling me that it was not approved for cats in the US, but that it had been successfully used for cats in such severe pain.

I knew that if the Metacam didn't work, my girl would not survive--because I could not let her remain in such pain. With a very tiny dose, she became a new cat in three days. She moved freely and obviously without pain. She stayed on it for quite a while until I felt that her stomach was being irritated and stopped it with the vet's approval, but she was happy and symptom free for the next four years. Since she was almost 20 when she went to the Bridge, I don't think the Metacam caused any serious damage.

I'm not advocating for Metacam, but I suggest that people find a vet that they trust and can rely on and follow that vet's recommendations. That's not so easy to do because there must be 15 vets at my animal hospital, but there's only one that I trust totally.

But my story informs the original poster's dilemma (which others have helpfully answered as well):
1) Make sure it IS arthritis by getting a diagnosis;

2) In addition to whatever medication your vet prescribes, try to make your home as "friendly" as possible so that the cat can be comfortable. For example, I have a high bed, so I have "steps" for the cat to use. My boy also loves to rest on the desk when I am on the computer, and it's a big jump for him, so I have a step stool next to the desk that he uses all the time. There are a variety of ways that you can make it easier for your arthritic cat to get to his favorite perches without stressing his joints.
post #13 of 21
First of all, if you've not taken your kitty to the vet for a diagnosis, start there. My Callie has had arthritis in her hips for the past several years, and it was diagnosed with x-rays, along with all the symptoms I described to the vet. I give her Cosequin once a day in her wet food and she's doing great, jumping all over the place and running around like a wee little kitten.
post #14 of 21
Hello,
I have significant arthritis myself due to bone cancer in my lower spine; my tumor has now recurred after 11 years. Bear in mind that bone problems of any type, in any species, are worsened due to the cold. My oncologists and chronic pain specialist say that it places undue stress on one's bone mass. Staying warm is a big help for me, personally, as is massage. Those things also help my kitty niece, my brother and new sister-in-law's 14 year old kitty, Della Purr, who has arthritis herself. Everyone else's advice about consulting your vet is great, too--d/he could possible prescribe some supplements or other meds to help as well.

Best of luck to you and your kitty.
post #15 of 21
If it is arthritis, I've found that my old boy really appreciates his heated cat bed. He'll even sleep in a colder room if that is where his bed happens to be. He also gets Cosequin and Tramadol for the pain. They do seem to help him move around with less stiffness.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
I really had to think and stop and re-read everything twice before posting this reply so I wouldn't feel myself becoming offended at some of the comments that were made most likely in pure innocence.

I have an appointment scheduled today, so we'll be going there and seeing what the vet has to say about it. If he's diagnosised with arthritis, I have Glucosamine/Chondroitin writen down as recommended pain med and Metacam as not recommended (which should be fine, as I live in the states). I'll bring up renal failure with my vet, but I get the impression we would of seen much worse symptoms by now - after a year of slow progression wobbling.

I do thank everyone for the comments, even the ones who gawked at me like I don't realize how old my own cat is. I'll post an update when we both get back and thank you.
post #17 of 21
Let me know how the vet goes.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well, just came back from the vet and I have nothing but good news to report. After a through examination our vet found his legs and joints to be in very good health. She attributed his weakness to old age, and I'm glad to hear it's not something worse. She suggested what many of you did in using boxes as stepping-stools to help him get up onto places, so I've placed a filled-shoebox by my bed and hopefully that'll cut the difficulty. He's now on a supplement once a day and hopefully in a month or so we'll see some improvement.
post #19 of 21
I am glad he is ok.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryne View Post
Well, just came back from the vet and I have nothing but good news to report. After a through examination our vet found his legs and joints to be in very good health. She attributed his weakness to old age, and I'm glad to hear it's not something worse. She suggested what many of you did in using boxes as stepping-stools to help him get up onto places, so I've placed a filled-shoebox by my bed and hopefully that'll cut the difficulty. He's now on a supplement once a day and hopefully in a month or so we'll see some improvement.
Glad to hear he's ok

When I found out my dog had arthritis, I went through the house and did the same things, to help prevent her from doing things that could make it worse. (avoiding stairs, etc.) I know yours isn't from arthritis, but same situation.

Are you supplementing him with glucosimine? I'm actually considerring that as a preventative measure when my kitty gets older. It's worked wonders for my dog, so I'm quite keen on it.

So glad your appt. went well, and your kitty is ok.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryne View Post
Well, just came back from the vet and I have nothing but good news to report. After a through examination our vet found his legs and joints to be in very good health. She attributed his weakness to old age, and I'm glad to hear it's not something worse. She suggested what many of you did in using boxes as stepping-stools to help him get up onto places, so I've placed a filled-shoebox by my bed and hopefully that'll cut the difficulty. He's now on a supplement once a day and hopefully in a month or so we'll see some improvement.
Glad that you have good news from the vet
A holisitic approach would be to do accupressure on the outside upper part of his paws - this stimulates blood circulation and healing to the extremities and also helps the major organs as well. simply move the pads of your thumbs in small circles, first one direction, then the other. He'll let you know the amount of pressure that feels good. At first, my cats pull their paws back, till I explain & keep doing it, then they relax and purr. It works for humans too, so I recommend trying it on yourself (hands and feet) to get the gist of what you're trying to accomplish
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