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Should I get a second opinion?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Here's the scoop.

Summer is almost 8 years old. We've had her for six years. Within a few months of getting her, she's had UTI problems. This has been recurring, sometimes VERY frequently. She's a super sweet cat that likes to be a lap cat and even play. After a few years of consideration and a move, we decided to add a second cat. We got Chevy when he was 15 weeks old and asked the rescue organization many questions to make sure it was a good match for Summer.They had proper introductions and for a few hours Summer was scared of Chevy. He was relaxed and calm as he laid near her. She finally got the drift...it took a few days, but was normal. Chevy was a very typical male kitten with energy, and Summer often played with him, but let him know when she didn't. She has bathed his face ever since. As before Summer was making lots of vet trips due to UTIs. When we got Chevy, we switched Summer from Science Diet c/d to the Royal Canin SO since Chevy was sensitive to the c/d. Summer is also on dasequin to help her bladder lining. She has urinated outside the box, got vet checked and came back clean a few times. Twice she's had a viral infection, and she continues to have a lower, but safe white blood cell count. She's been tested for everything and is clear. She most recently had like her 4th UTI this year. I have talked this over with my vet several times and the possibility that Chevy may have bothered her in the litter box. I've seen him stare at her while she's in there. I have three litter boxes spread evenly throughout the apartment, and even tried Calm's Forte at the vet's suggestion. There are two Feliway diffusers at all times on opposite sides (to cover all space). Feliway seems to help Chevy be less aggressive. She still gets UTIs. She even had her urine sent to a place that is doing research on cats like Summer who have recurring UTIs.

I'm at a loss and don't know what to do! The vet has mentioned stronger prescription medication, but evades it whenever I bring it up by telling me to keep using the feliway and calm's forte like she's telling me for the first time! This makes me so mad as I've been doing both for over two years....though I've stopped with the calm's forte since it wasn't helping at all....

Should I get a second opinion? I can't keep living in an apartment that smells like cat urine. I rent and it makes me feel horrible. I feel even worse that Summer may not be happy. I can't blame this all on Chevy as we had her for four years before we got him and had the same problems. Chevy's older and more mature now too and doesn't want to play as much as he used to. He leaves her alone, but sometimes she'll approach him to wash his face, and he'll wash hers....Yes, I even got him tested to make sure it wasnt something contagious. He has a clean bill of health.

Any advice would be great! Thanks...
post #2 of 13
If your vet is not making you happy with the responses he is giving you always always always seek a second opinion.

It never hurts, and you'd do the same for yourself if you were unsatisfied with a doctor.

I do hope that Summer feels better! It sounds like you've done all that you can do at home to try and solve this problem! I'd be so close to pulling my hair out right now!
post #3 of 13
A second opinion never hurts (except maybe your wallet but that's just how that goes.)

One of my cats has had a long battle with UTI's. I've noticed his flare up when his territory is threatened either by smelling outside cats or when we got a kitten. Now, I've never heard a vet support this theory of mine but I've also seen it in some of my client's cats (I'm a pet sitter). Again, just a theory but I'm starting to notice a pattern.

You might try switching her food if she's not on a prescribed diet. I found that with my cat, once he was on Wellness Indoor we haven't had any UTI's or hairballs for that matter and the hairball thing is saying a lot. I don't recall if they make that in flavors other than the chicken which is what I feed, but you do want to avoid fish. They're learning that that might make UTI's worse or more frequent.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm ready to pull my hair out and to cry really hard. I'm so frustrated. She went back to the vet for recheck today. For some reason they are also taking blood to recheck that (last recheck was in May). I kind of almost feel like they just like taking my money or something....obviously something is wrong if an owner is trying ALL their suggestions to no avail and then some...

I kind of feel like telling them how it is today when I go back to pick her up. I know that sounds bad, but I'm at my wits end and they don't seem to be listening to what I say to them. I genuinely thought taking them to a feline-only clinic and the vets 20+ years of working strictly with cats would be the best thing...maybe not.

She's been on a prescribed diet for awhile. She was on C/D before we got Chevy, and is now on Royal Canin Urinary SO. I buy it from the vet. Summer has never been given fish. They stay on her prescription diet very strictly...I want to rule anything out, and that's one way I do it.

I've thought of and researched everything...
post #5 of 13
My Coco has had them for over 2 years.
My vet put her on Baytril since Jan and she has been fine since.
She has to stay on it forever though.
Did she have a ultrasound?
Most antibiotics did not help my Coco.
The Baytril is did.
Did the vet do a culture?
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
The vet has done a culture but no ultrasound.

The vet normally prescribes Baytril for her UTI's and it works. This time, for whatever reason, they prescribed Clavamox pills. When I asked why the change, they said they wanted to try "something different". We'll see if it helped....clavamox liquid didn't help when we went to our previous vet before we moved. So, we'll see....

I wish that Summer could get something like Baytril regularly to prevent this kind of thing. I just wonder what's causing them?
post #7 of 13
I would get the ultrasound.
Then you will know what is causing it.
Clavamox never worked for Coco and she would throw up on it.
Baytril is a stronger antibiotic.
Coco would be on Baytril for 6-8 weeks then would be ok for 2 months.
Then the infection would come back.
She was on the same food as your cat.
You need to stop the infection or it will go to her kidneys.
Coco has CRF now but she is 17.
How long is Summer on antibiotivs when she gets them.
She needs at least a 6-8 week does of them since it keeps coming back.
post #8 of 13
I am so sorry to hear that you're having this problem. I don't have a lot of direct experience with this issue, but I am close to others that do, and I know how frustrating recurring UTIs can be.

As others have said, a second opinion is rarely a bad idea. Does your vet know of a specialist who might offer some insight, or are you near the veterinary school in Madison? If I had tried everything, I might consider going that route.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck to you and Summer!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Summer is usually on Baytril for 3 weeks. Then about 2 months later, she'll get another one. Like I said, I have no idea why they gave her the clavamox this time...seems suspicious since its worked in the past. The only other times were when she had the viral infection is which she was on anitrobe zovirax...and being on 3 weeks of that didn't help....after 6 weeks, they determined that her white blood cell count was still lower, but safe (i.e. no improvement, but not worse)

I wonder if Summer is stressed and that's what causes it. Anxiety maybe? She's hard to read....sometimes she may be content by herself, sometimes hidden, other times she's extra needy and wants constant attention. This may also be because she doesn't feel well.

The last time I mentioned this to the vet....she recommended Feliway....I told her I was already doing that for quite some time and still was! She stopped talking to me sort of and I got the hint she wanted me to leave....

I'm just at my wits end. Something is wrong with Summer and I can't make it better....

The vet went to the Veterinary school in Madison many years ago and has sent blood and urine tests to them.

I hate to go to another vet and start this whole process over again. This is costing me a lot of money and to no avail.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
So I went back to the vet and Summer has a high pH. The vet tech came out and cornered me immediately grilling me about whether or not I gave Summer any kind of treats or anything other than the SO. When I told her no, she kept up by asking me repeatedly again and asking if I give her table scraps! Of all things! I told her I do not as I had done a lot of research on this sort of thing, as she's had these issues for quite some time. She then backed off a bit and was like "Yeah, I guess you have had to deal with this a long time now..."

She then asked me about her water....I told her that I change it twice a day....she suggested I switch to bottled water.

The girl at the desk was trying to be friendly nd had everything ready for me. They said they believe that the Royal Canin SO has too high of a pH for Summer and suggested switching to Science Diet c/d or Purina CNM-UR. The girl was put off when I told her I only wanted samples for right now to mix it in and see what they like better. She was like "You're going to MIX it?!?! Well! I have to see the doctor says about that!" and goes to another room and asks the vet. She comes out smiling saying "Oh, the vet says that is fine."

What the heck? I don't think I've ever been treated so rudely in my life! Some reviews of this clinic always praise the vet, but complain about the rude office staff....now I see why!
post #11 of 13
I'm sorry you are having to deal with this. I am glad that found that she had some sort of issue going on, at least it gives you something else to try. I know it's a pain, but is there a way the 2 cats can be fed differnt foods? (You may have already stated why, but I missed it)
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Both cats have been free fed their whole lives....Chevy had a UTI once too so they recommended a prescription diet for him too (he was already on the Royal Canin SO)

I put out two dishes of each of the newer foods to see if they prefer one over the other.....Summer likes both....Chevy just sniffed them. I really want him to try the c/d again to see if it agrees with him and to see if he has a preference...
post #13 of 13
What finally worked with Hemmy was the Wellness food, but before we switched we discovered he wasn't getting enough water on his own so we would do two things. He's a glutton so we could put filtered water on his food. He'd drink down what was in his way and then eat his food. Also, I gave him free-range low-sodium chicken broth as a treat. Not only would he drink it, he'd drink more water after. But once we switched to Wellness the water and broth were no longer necessary.
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