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Help - Me and my male age 10 oriental!

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi, I need some help...in a nutshell, my cat 'Khai' had 3 teeth extracted, (Saffan anaesthetic used), to say he has not been right since is an understatement, I know my cat, the vets who cannot find a problem don't. He circles and walks around for hours upon hours, he now can't seem able to jump upwards, if placed in a higher position, he stumbles from the edge of the surface, seems basically miserable although I cannot find the source of any pain, is very disorientated and the only time that he seems contented and settled is on my lap, being re-assured as such. This has now been going on for 3 weeks and is getting worse, especially in the evenings. I have been trying to find some help and advice on the internet, which is how I found this site, but since I cannot identify a problem at the moment, am finding some empathy and a solution hard to come by...
post #2 of 28
Welcome to the site Lyn! I don't have any answers, but you certainly have my empathy. Poor Khai, he has to be just as confused as you are.

I'm going to move this to the Health & Nutrition Forum where our resident experts may be able to help you.
post #3 of 28

I am not one of the experts that Heidi made mention of, but I think the first thing I would do is find another vet. If you aren't getting the results you want from your current one, maybe a fresh view point will help.

It sounds like there is certainly something wrong, it may be physical and it may be related to the tooth extraction, if you are noticing a decline in the cats behavior, I would certainly get kitty to a new vet as soon as you can.

I wish you the best of luck, and please keep us updated.
post #4 of 28
Poor Khai!

When my Russian Blue was spayed, she came home walking in circles, stumbling, nictating membrane covered one eye, one eye more dilated than the other. Basically either the anesthesia caused a disturbance in her inner ear or the ear cleaning she had at the same time as her spay caused a problem in the inner ear.

Problems in the inner ear is can cause vertigo, dizziness, and balance problems like you are describing. If Khai is getting worse, maybe he has an infection that is worsening the balance problem? To cover all the bases, our kitty was given an antibiotic for 3 weeks. I can't say it fixed the problem, but it ruled out any bacteria and it seemed that the problem very slowly resolved on its own over a couple months. When humans get vestibular problems sometimes they are given antihistimines to reduce any fluid that might be disturbing the inner ear.

The fact that Khai is getting worse I would take him for a second opinion to get at the bottom of this.

Hope he feels better soon.
post #5 of 28
I'm not an expert either, but I was wondering if Saffan is an injectible anaesthesia? Based on my own personal experience, I feel gas anesthesia is possibly safer for an older cat. You may want to talk to your vet about the safety issues of having an older cat put under general anesthesia. I also agree that you may want to look for another vet if you feel your current vet isn't giving you enough help.

I have had two older cats have dental work done under general anesthesia. Midnight, (now deceased) was 13 years old when she had dental work done under a gas anesthesia. A half an hour after the procedure was completed, Midnight was awake and was sitting up in her cage. When I picked her up later that day, she was fully alert and completely recovered from the effects of the anesthesia.

The following year, Snowball, who was 10 years old at that time, had dental work done under an injectible anesthesia. He had difficulty recovering from the effects of the anesthesia. He was groggy when I brought him home (normal) and was barely responsive the next morning. He was taken back to the veterinary clinic and treated for dehydration. The vet said all the stress of the procedure and anesthesia had been too hard on him. It took 2 or 3 more days for Snowball to fully recover from the effects of the anesthesia.

I'm not sure if this information is helpful for you or not. We have people here who are very knowledgeable, and hopefully, they will respond soon.
post #6 of 28
This steroid anaesthetic agent is presently formulated in a non-aqueous vehicle which is
responsible for side effects such as paw and ear oedema and the rarer, but more serious, laryngeal and/or pulmonary oedema. This drug is now the most commonly used drug for the induction and maintenance of short term anaesthesia in cats. Its advantages include:

1.It is non-irritant, therefore perivascular desposition does not produce phlebitis.

2.It is metabolised rapidly, therefore repeated administration does not lead to cumulation.

3.It produces good muscle relaxation.

4.It has a wider margin of safety than barbiturates and produces less apnoea on induction.

However, it will produce dose related cardiovascular depression and if administered with
another anaesthetic and sedative drugs, synergistic respiratory and cardiovascular
depression may occur.

You need to get your baby to another vet and investigate the possibility of "ear oedema".

Good luck and plenty of hugs and kisses to your baby.
post #7 of 28
Hi Lyn and welcome!

Recently, i picked up a foster kitty from a vet after she was given some shots and spayed. She was also given anaesthetic.

She was rather groggy and could not walk properly, due to weakness. However she was okay the very next day. Lyn, you metnioned Khai has been in this condition for about 3 weeks, which seems too prolonged?

i hope you bring Khai in to a vet soon. Oh yes, another vet sounds like a viable plan.

Please keep us posted, and wishing for speedy recovery for Khai!

Take care, Lyn, and hugs and kisses for Khai!

post #8 of 28
Lyn I posted on another board where there are vet techs and retired vets that belong-here is one of the responses from Davet a retired veterinarian:

"suspect only that he had some type of cerebral accident while under anesthesia..not from over dose but possibly what might be termed an idiosyncratic problemm does he have any nystagmus, ie eyeballs moving side to side or any difference in the eye balls, ie one large and one small...i am again just guessing but i think- and again this is not a reccomendation--that i would dose the cat with prednisone to see if there is any brain inflammation...again, i am not reccomending just musing.."

I know that davet posts in sort of an abstract way, but hope you get the gist of it. Here is the address for the board, if you want to go there. I was at a loss to answer you. I suspect neurological disorder, but wanted to ask those who might have a better idea. It is a tell-it-like-it-is type of board but I have found great help there in the past.

Help For Cats
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your replies, I am now 3 vets down on my problem, all of them have offered to keep him in for observation, but I am loathe to do this as my cat is already very stressed esp when he is away from me. Initially, after the dental op I was given Stomorgyl for him to take for a week. However, after 2 days of concern I took him in for a consult (his mouth was still bleeding a little and the disorientation seemed at that point at its worse - little did I know then - and he had a metacam injection, still continuing with the Stomorgyl)

Re Helen's comment about paw oedeama, I picked up on this immediately as I have also noticed how sensitive his paws seem to be. When he is trying to jump from a surface, he puts his front paws right off the edge of it and uses his hind legs to launch from, 2 vets comments were that he only feels for the edge of the surface as a guide, but Khai is not even doing that.

I have his sister as well, whose behaviour under the circumstances is 99% ok, which is a blessing!

Lyn (sleepless, tearful, stressed)
Khai (still a darling)
post #10 of 28
Lyn here is a reply from the last two posts (I am still cross posting for you)

Assuming the owner means sevoflurane, it wouldn't have been my choice for anesthesia (I prefer ISO)....she needs to discuss this in full with her vet, look over the procedure/incident in kitty's health chart. If kitty had an overdose or an arrest during the procedure, the vet needed to record that in the health chart, have her find out about that immediately.

My concern is she mentions worsening symptoms, I'd get a pro consult right away, it could just be a coincidence in timing, but one way to know is the vet's comments on how kitty reacted to anesthesia upon waking up ([idelayed? any problems with vitals upon recovery? was a combination anesthetic agent used?) ...usually with anesthetic reactions, the symptoms don't progress, so get a consult with a feline neurologist ASAP.
post #11 of 28
This is the same thing my Toes did when he was undergoing seizures (only he'd yowl and lose control of his bladder and bowels too). I know how painful it is to see this happening to your baby. Take him to another vet, ASAP. Toes was put on seizure medication and it took about 2 weeks for him to recover and almost 2 years on the medication before he could come off it. He's happy and healthy now, but I went through Hell when he was in trouble and I'm sure you are too. I'm crying just thinking about what you're going through. Please let us know what happens. I know how scared you are. Pull in your support group and we're here too.

post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
The last 24 hours have been awful and I have just returned from my 4th vet who was recommended to me.....and after just watching and observing he said that my cat had gone blind....imagine my absolute horror to actually have to be told this and the humiliation of now seeing it myself, I was so wrapped up in the circling and pacing, and the behavioural side, I couldn't seem to see what now seems obvious. The vet whom I saw tonight is calling the one who did the dental extraction for the op notes, and to discuss why he used the saffan anaesthetic, in the meantime I want to drill and find out all that I can.........ALL HELP AND POINTS TO LINKS ETC VERY WELCOMED

Lyn...and Khai
post #13 of 28
I just wanted to say that my cat, Midnight, whom I mentioned in my earlier post, went completely blind due to glaucoma during her last few months. Cats do adjust well to not being able to see. Midnight was still able to find her way around our home by using her whiskers as feelers, and my vet thought she was also using her memory of where everything was located. Since you didn't realize Khai had gone blind, he has probably been doing these things. Blindness is also probably the reason he can't jump upward anymore and falls off high objects.

I will look for some links on blind cats and post them here for you.

Edited to include links:


The following link includes a section on blind cats:
post #14 of 28

It is possible that the blindness may be temporary and last a few months, or even longer. I have had blind cats, and they are a delight. Tag used to be able to catch any flying insect that managed to get into the house quicker than my sighted cats. Although this is sad for you and something you need to adjust too, Khai has some advantages here, he knows the layout of your home, for now, I would put him in the one room you spend the most time in. I had Tag and his sister Marbles (who was also brain damaged) set up in our living room right at first. I had put a partition of wood between the living room and the kitchen (the only doorway) and stuck a litter box back underneath a coffee table. I fed both of them in a certain corner, and it was amazing, for as we would walk across the floor, Tag would feel our vibrations and run right for our feet! He would sit on our shoe, grab our ankle without hurting us, and *ride* this way across the floor- thus earning his name Tag.

As I said, there is a possibility that this blindness is only temporary, but if not, Khai can live with you in harmony and you have already shown he is loved.
post #15 of 28
My heart goes out to you and Khai. . .don't blame yourself for not knowing — it's the last thing you would expect from a tooth extraction, and the other vets you saw earlier obviously didn't pick it up either. I'm so glad you have a vet that is trying to track things down for you to get the best treatment possible for Khai.

Will be thinking of you both. . .
post #16 of 28
I knew a blind cat when I was little. I didn't believe she was blind at all because she acted like the other cats. When Khai adjusts he'll be fine. But this adjustment period is going to be hard for both of you.

Sending lots of kitty hugs to both of you.

post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Khai has seriously deterioted today. I rushed him back to the vet, who was himself very shocked when he saw him, and the difference from last night. Khai crumbled and went to pieces even more so whilst I was there, vomitted quite badly and could not stand at all, he seems to have shut down completely, very limp all over and very distressed. There are 2 paths, one is the obvious, the other (which is what we have all agreed on) is for him to go on an IV drip, and have a steroid injection to see if there is any slight reversal in his condition, and we will have to make a decision in 24 hours or sooner if needs be. It definatley seems to be the 'Saffan' anaesthetic that has caused this, and my vet hinted that he was most surprised at it being used, with its know side effects. I have also found on the internet a link to the Australian Vet Journal from Sept 2001 by a N H Dodman called 'the complications of Saffan anaesthesia in cats' but can't get into what it actually states as it has only been used as a reference - any help here anyone??? Am a seriously mixed up female at the moment, with a huge hurdle coming my way, thank you all for your support
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Just to advise that Khai died in the night.....
post #19 of 28
Oh God Lyn- I am so terribly sorry- I am so very sorry---
post #20 of 28
This is really sad, and I hope this copy of the Rainbow Bridge poem will help to give you some comfort.

Khai will be waiting for you there.....

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an aniumal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so that they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made well and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content except for one small thing: they each miss someone very special to them who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carring him faster and faster.

You have been spotted and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, not to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face: your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look on again into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart.

Then, you cross the Rainbow Bridge together..........

Author unknown..............

post #21 of 28
I'm so sorry you lost Khai. His pain is over now, and he knows that you did everything possible to help him feel better while he was here. You have been a great kitty mom and angel We all care a lot, so please continue to post when you need friendship and support.
post #22 of 28
I just wanted to offer my condolences. I'm so sorry.
post #23 of 28
I'm so sorry about Khai. . . .
post #24 of 28
I just read your thread for the first time and was shocked by the very sad events that led to the loss of Khai.

I just can't believe it. My heart goes out to you. How very painful it must be.
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
....my current concern is Khai's sister (out of the same litter) Fleur, she is a lovely oriental lilac, completely distraught/confused etc at her missing brother....non stop 'treading'...any help here would be welcomed, I have been recommended to give her small doses (eg half a 5mg tab) of Clomicalm, to help to calm her, has anyone tried this? My husband and I are coping ok, bursting with grief, but managing for now one hour at a time really, once again thanks for the support
post #26 of 28
Maybe get a Feliway plug-in for Fleur. It has a pheromone that calms and comforts cats in a variety of situations. I use it and have gotten great results for reducing the stress of territorial issues, but the product says that it can be used for things like going to the vet, household changes, etc. Poor Fleur. . .

post #27 of 28
Lyn, I am so sorry for your loss of Khai.

Hopefully Fleur will adjust with time. Her reaction may also be, in part, a reflection of the sad vibes in the house. Perhaps she know's you're sad and upset and is reacting to that.
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
This is a reply that I posted onto the online help site. I have received some private messages, thank you all so much, just to let you know the full story:

Hi, am sorry but I really did not pick up on this cross link, I was totally new to this site, and 'in my fog' did not really understand and only just stumbled across as I did not recognise the title when Hissy first said about the cross posting. So apologies for not posting directly here. Thank you for the replies and sincere messages, let me try to explain regarding some of the previous comments. My original vet (A) said that Khai needed some dental work, as I had noticed that he seemed to be having difficulty eating dried food and seemed very miserable, so he was admitted for treatment and later in the day, I picked him up, or what appeared to be my usually lovable docile cat. To say that he was in a panic was an understatement, and I had to take him home in the vets cage as he was so distressed. (You have to bear in mind that my 2 oriental breeds tend to stay in the house, do not mix with other cats and are very home orientated). He'd had 3 extractions, and obviously his mouth was a bit of a mess, but fair enough. Two days later, I was not at all happy as Khai still seemed unsteady so I took him back, and although A said that his gums looked ok, gave a painkilling injection, admitted that he thought that Khai had a massive reaction to the anaesthetic (saffan) and told me to continue with the Stomorgyl antibiotic until another check up on Saturday - when A said that the gums looked as though they had recovered fine, to start back on some dried food etc, and from then on Khai seemed to be recovering ok. However around a week later, I noticed that he again seemed to be not eating very well, checked his mouth and his upper gum seemed sore....so I took him to see A again, and they confirmed that his existing lower canine seemed to be puncturing the upper gum, they wanted to take this out and I said no, I would only give him soft food and see if it would heal. So a few days after it did start to heal, and I thought we were on the road to recovery, Khai perked up and seemed much happier, and became his usual naughty boy self, almost. But that then led me to the situation when I originally posted, he started to constantly circle especially in the evenings, and sometimes for hours, seemed very hesitant to jump, and I took him to another vet for a second opinion (B), who watched and observed, and said that it was a vision problem, and in his opinion Khai seemed to have lost his sight. Although I am adamant that at the point of the circling, he had got vision if only slightly. So at that point of realisation of this impending blindness, I thought, well this is not a huge problem and I can handle this, Khai knew the house very well, and we would have to make some amendments but no big deal at all. But in a very short space of time, there was a massive decline. Within about 20 hours, his vision had totally gone, his legs could not hold him up, and he wanted to crawl into a very small dark space in the basement. I picked him up and ran to the car to take him to see vet B, and Khai was suddenly very sick, mainly bile, but still quite alert, and recognising my voice and reassurance. The vet was stunned at the change, and could see that Khai could not use his legs, and his third eye had come up completely. He offered to put him on an iv drip, and inject a steroid, to see if there was any change in say 24 hours, or gave me the option to do the inevitable (which at that point, I was really in the most awful shock). I gave him to B, and at that point of handing over, Khai launched for me claws and all, as if to say 'please no', or as if he knew it was goodbye, and my arm was really bleeding, but he most certainly still recognised my voice (believe me this was agonising). Around 4 hours later, Khai was very settled as such, and it was just as though he was sleeping, but still breathing, another 4 hours or so later still the same, but then it became fairly apparent that Khai had slipped into a coma and soon after he died. The nect day, after much discussion, B and an associate figured that there had been a pulmonary embolism (causing the blindness) which could probably be proven if we wanted a post mortem, and offered the opinion that the damage was done at the point of the dental op, but took its time to develop. (Obviously I could go on for pages but am aware of the length of this, just wanted to clarify a few matters). Of course I am full of questions, and anger. For instance, vet A, who was requested to fax the op notes to vet B after the initial visit, refused saying that the computer records where their property, and I had to get in touch with a veterianary council citing 'supercession' and order them to, and then they were typed up as such, not the original computer print. And why did Khai pick up so? The soul searching - was there anything at all I could have picked up on sooner, instead of just hunches etc, I did take him back 3 times remember, after the intial dental op, before the 2nd opinion, I am full of woe/guilt/deep emotion, and I miss him so badly, as he was my home buddy for almost 10 long and gorgeous years, owed me nothing, but I wanted more time with him. I have his (litter) sister to look after, who is pining away, being caressed and cherished as much as we can, and one day we know that we will not cry any more....maybe... but the anger remains...once more I really want to say what a wonderful site this is, yes I know I am over in New Zealand, but I will continue to view it, as are all of my friends over here, and thank you for your replies, advice and lovely comments. Any further comments would be most welcomed...

Update is that vet B has received the medical records from vet A (this is all very coded I realise, but it saves from incrimination), there are some discrepancies which we have now taken up with the New Zealand Veterinary Association who are looking at the pattern of events. We have many 'hindsight views' of events, realising that Khai was almost certainly partially blind from the dental op... am trying to work through a lot of issues and having some great support
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