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cat with severe arthritis, won't eat much, help!

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
my 16 year old, shadow, has had arthritis in her knees for years now. clicking when she would walk around.. but last week it took a major turn for the worse.
she's limping something awful now. walks like she's drunk. took her to the vet and she's on adequan every 4 days and buprenor for the pain. she will barely eat...though WILL eat ham and turkey cold cuts and occasionally real cat food. and yes, we are being cautious with the people food due to the sodium.
she was diabetic last year so they won't give her steroids.

she's still drinking water too. she actually played a bit yesterday too and LOOKS good. but not eating is NOT a good thing and we don't know how to stimulate her appetite.
i cooked her some chicken this morning (boiled it) and she wouldn't eat that.

she's our precious baby and i know she's old, but she doesn't seem to want to give up yet and we don't want to of course, so what can i do to make her eat or feel better?

i don't think i can cope with having her put down right now...or in the near future. obviously my husband and i will make the right decision when the time comes, but it just seems like she's not wanting to go just yet....like there is some hope.
she had her second adequan injection today.

they didn't x-ray her but she had a full physical exam...so she may have osteoarthritis.

any ideas?
post #2 of 28
Hopefully the second jab will make a difference. I am puzzled by your diabetes comment though - you either are diabetic or you aren't, it isnt something you just have an episode of. Personally, I would be tempted to push for them regardless, as you have to weigh up quality over quantity now. You could also try glucosamine supplements to help her long term.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
the injection medication is supposed to have the glucosamine in it.

and cats' diabetes can go into remission. she was diabetic and now she's not. no more insulin, no more high blood sugar levels. we still keep her on a low carb diet though. and they don't want the steroids because it could push her pancreas back into a diabetic state.
post #4 of 28
even with human Type 2 diabetes, it can go into 'remission', if you would, based on diet and exercise, which may be the case here - but, again with humans, doctors would be hesitant with steroids since it might have a negative effect on the pancreas.

Does the vet have any other diet suggestions - obviously, long term you want her on the healthy diabetes diet, but sometimes short term, maybe anything that perks up her appetite would be ok - have you tried baby chicken or turkey baby food?
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
and no, having her go diabetic again right now would probably kill her so that's not really something to consider...

i just wanted suggestions on how to get her to eat while we wait for the injection meds to kick in....
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
yeah, we've been down the baby food route, cooked chicken, food that isn't on the low carb list.....
all she wants to eat is the cold cut stuff.... which at this point, since she's even eating so little of that, maybe isn't such a bad idea? i got varieties without chemicals or other filler stuff... just meat mostly...with salt. ugh.

i'm mentally exhausted over this.
post #7 of 28
That's interesting, I have never heard of diabetic cats going into remission.
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
that's probably because most people don't do home blood glucose testing.

i went to www.felinediabetes.com and those people got me on the testing wagon and thusly, got the cat off the insulin.

but yeah....just tried to feed her lunch adn wouldn't eat anything except a little ham......
post #9 of 28
I'm so sorry to hear about your beloved Shadow's pain.

The adequan will take time to take effect. A few weeks for injections to see any real relief, I think I have read.

Gentle massage can help, too.

My little Ootay Princess (rb 5/09) had very bad arthritis pain. It was managed with cosequin for cats for many years, but even that stopped helping near the end.

Ootay had many other issues and I was reluctant to put her through the adequan injections. My vet and I were about to start her on tramadol as a last resort, though I don't think she would have had a very good quality of life with it, when a very dear friend trained in Animal Reiki offered her loving services.

The Reiki treatments (all the way from Washington state, I live in NY state) gave my Ootay good quality of life without pain meds for the last few months of her long life. If you would like more info feel free to PM me.

xo
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
i have a friend who does reiki and quantum touch and she will be visiting tomorrow.

maybe she can get the pain down so that shadow will eat.

i know the adequan takes a while to work, which is why i'm scared....if she doesn't eat enough before it finally kicks in, we won't have a kitty left to deal with!!!

i get so panicked about the eating. should i be? i panic when i don't eat myself (i'm underweight and it is hard to keep the weight on) so maybe i'm reflecting on her.
but i know it can be serious and cause all sorts of failures if she doesn't.

i'm such a mess over this. i don't know what to do who to turn to.
post #11 of 28
I understand your concern. Yes, it is very important that she eat.I just reread your post. It could be the buprenor causing her to feel sick to her stomach, which would keep her from eating. Nausea is a common side affect of this pain medication. (as is constipation I am sorry to say)

Ask your vet about giving her some pepcid ac just before you give her the pain medication 1/4 of a 10 mg tablet once a day may help.

In addition, ask your vet about vitamin B-12 injections. The B shots really helped with Ootay's poor appetite. They are done sub q and you may even be able to do them at home. Usually once every 7 to 10 days.

Other tips for reluctant eaters: don't free feed, or leave food sitting out. They become desensitized to the odor, and if she is feeling nauseous the constant smell will only make it worse.

Offer only small amounts of food at a time, warm the food to bring out aroma (smell is everything to a cat). give her a quick whiff to get her appetite center woke up, then wait a minute before actually putting the food in front of her.

If your friend who does Reiki can set up a regular treatment program for Shadow, you may be able to take her off the Buprenor all together.

Reiki gave me 3 1/2 extra months with my Ootay, months with a good quality of life. She would have not had a good life on the tramadol and I would have had to let her go much sooner than I did.
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
thanks otto for your input.
we are leaving the food out...though it is just in tiny amounts and she's usually not in the room with it.
in fact she's chosen my office right now as her favorite spot to sit.
i am not sure she's feeling nauseous.... since she hasn't thrown up at all since the treatment began (and she had before) and judging by the way she'll snatch the ham out of your hand like a ravenous lion LOL.... she's always been a super picky eater. heating the food doesn't work much. it's just got to be the RIGHT kind apparently and she's not saying what that is! i wish they could talk sometimes!
i will ask about the b-12 shots.... that could be good. we're doing the adequan sub-q and shots are the best way for her to take meds....got real good at it with the insulin.
a little bit ago, a friend of mine came over to pick something up and shadow came out to greet her.....drunken legs and all. such a sweetheart....can't stand the thought of losing her.. but was glad to see she still had some "normal" behaviour still going on.
post #13 of 28
Have you talked to the vet about the lunch meat? May really not be such a bad idea if that's what she wants to eat - and the grocery stores in my area do offer low-salt, nonseasoned turkey. A lot of time the deli workers will really bond with you if you say it's for your pet - they'll try to get the best pieces for you.

And, besides my human experience, I've read about diabetic cats going into remission, once weight loss was achieved, in both the Cornell and Tufts newsletters. But, like humans, sometimes the diet & exercise route can be awfully tough to achieve and maintain. But, it can happen, especially when you have a great pet parent to help you out, like here.
post #14 of 28
My older kitty also has arthritis, though it is only moderate. One thing that has helped Prissy is a heating pad. I have one especially made for cats. If you haven't tried one already, it could be a huge help. The warmth eases a lot of the pain.

I hope your baby starts feeling better from the shots soon, and I hope the food situation clears up soon. for Shadow, and for her Meowmy. Cats pick up on emotion, too, so when you're trying to get her to eat, don't get too stressed over it.

It's never easy when your kitty is in pain, and it's worse when you fear that the rainbow bridge is close. But everyone here is thinking and hoping for the same things you are. to you, and know that TCS is always here, even when shadow dear's time comes.
post #15 of 28
Ootay (rb 5/09) had a heating pad too. Once she stopped sleeping in the living room though (she preferred her bed on the bathroom floor next to the heater) I had to do something different so put one of my home-made self-warming cat beds under her extra padded soft circle bed. (the Circle Bed was a gift from her Reiki practitioner!)
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubylizard View Post
i have a friend who does reiki and quantum touch and she will be visiting tomorrow.

maybe she can get the pain down so that shadow will eat.

i know the adequan takes a while to work, which is why i'm scared....if she doesn't eat enough before it finally kicks in, we won't have a kitty left to deal with!!!

i get so panicked about the eating. should i be? i panic when i don't eat myself (i'm underweight and it is hard to keep the weight on) so maybe i'm reflecting on her.
but i know it can be serious and cause all sorts of failures if she doesn't.

i'm such a mess over this. i don't know what to do who to turn to.
Hi! How is Shadow doing? Has your friend agreed to start a regular program of Reiki for her?

By the way what is quantum touch?
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
quantum touch is basically like reiki...i'm kinda new to the whole thing. google it if you want to know more

she came and sat with shadow today and said that shadow says she's ready to go, but needs me and my husband to be ready for it...so i dunno.

she's not eaten much of anything today. :-( i guess maybe it really might be the end....not sure what is going to happen tomorrow.
post #18 of 28
Oh no, I'm so sorry. The Final Kindness is the hardest part for us humans. My thoughts are with you, please do keep us updated.
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
shadow went to the rainbow bridge yesterday.

this is what my husband said about her on facebook:

The best cat in the world sleeps. She was my shadow, my daughter, my best friend. She was the baby, the fur daughter, the pea, sweetness and light, a coconut, an owl, a paper bag and Jake. She was a dog cat, a savior, a snuggle, she was the baby pea and she will be missed. She definitely was not just a cat. Raised and loved for sixteen years ... with us always and forever.
post #20 of 28
I'm so sorry for your loss of your Beloved Shadow. Gosh it hurts so much when they have to leave us. The love they give for the short time they are here is worth it, but I know how much it tears when it's time to let them go.

My heartfelt condolences to you and your husband.

xo
post #21 of 28
I am so sorry for your loss - she loved, and was loved, greatly.
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
she was the best cat ever. if you were sad and crying, she would speak (vocally) to you and come over and sit on/with you and even touch your face or tears.
she was the sweetest, most intuitive cat i've ever known.

it's very hard for me now since i work from home and my husband does not...so i've been here with her in the house for the last 7 years during the weekdays.


now i'm all alone. and there's no one here to touch my face when i cry.
post #23 of 28
I am so sorry to hear this, RIP little one
post #24 of 28
I am so sorry.

You did the right thing, she was ready. I know it hurts, I am so sorry.
post #25 of 28
What beautiful tributes you and your hubby have written for your beloved girl. RIP sweet "baby pea"
post #26 of 28
I just started reading this post with bated breathe sure that she would pull through and came to the end. I'm so sorry. What lovely tributes to your darling!

Love,

Elizabeth, Whimsey, Merlin, Fancy, & Magic
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
thanks everyone this is going to take some getting used to, but we can make it through.
post #28 of 28
I am so sorry to hear this, RIP little one
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