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Please Help, Need Advice/consolation...

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
Hi, there. I am new to this website, and I thank you all for your time taken to read and possibly reply to this postin. I have a beautiful kitty named Tank who is 15 months old. He has always been a very active, happy, rambunctious cat. About a week and a half ago, I noticed that he'd stopped eating his food. There were no changes to his diet anytime recently. I thought maybe it was a hairball, or his teeth were sore. Well, the hairball treatment did nothing for him, and he refused canned food, as well. I then noticed about five days ago that he'd stopped drinking water. By now he has lost tons of weight and is quite weak. I took him in to the vet on Thursday, and she drew blood, tested him for FIV and FLV, treated him for his dehydration via subquetaneous fluids, gave me some oral antibiotics for him, and informed me that he had a fever. All other work up was normal. He ate a tiny amount of canned food yesterday, but refused it this morning. I returned today (Sunday) for a recheck. He is severly dehydrated, although his fever has gone down. She drew more blood, gave me a different antibiotic, a prescription for some high calorie food and an appetite inducer, and some fluids to treat his dehydration from home subque again. I have to force feed him with a syringe, and he is not digging this. He threw up once, but has since been okay with it. What coudl be going on? Any advice, or perhaps tips on how to make this as least uncomfortable for him as possible? I am very nervous and afraid for him. Anyone have any ideas? His sister (who I adopted at the same time as him when they were about 11 weeks old) is perfectly fine and healthy. What's happening??
Thanks again for your time....
post #2 of 65
You have to keep fluids in him, and if you can get him to eat...keep up the good work.

Sounds to me like he had some kind of illness, but that he may be getting over it now. If the vet has run blood tests, and not found anything seriously abnormal then you're doing everything that you can right now.

I don't have much other suggestions, hopefully others will.

post #3 of 65
I would suggest you look in your area for a feline specialist vet who can run tests on him and figure out what is wrong. Keeping him hydrated is paramount. You can try to perk up his appetite a couple of ways.

Take some canned food and nuke it for a few seconds in the microwave to warm it up and tempt his taste buds.

Try him with either chicken or turkey baby food

Check his nose to be sure he isn't plugged up in some way- if a cat can't smell they won't eat.

Take a tiny bit of catnip and put it in his canned food to see if he will eat that.

You can also give him a homemade Pedialyte to balance him out for not having fluids-

1 cup water (boiled and cooled)
small pinch of baking soda
small pinch of salt
2 teaspoons sugar

Mix all the ingredients well, don't give it to him cold, give it to him warm. When you syringe, go slow- don't force fluids even though you are concerned for him. You can put the fluids down the wrong tube.

If you have acidophilus capsules, break one open. Moisten your finger, dip it in the powered acidophilus and rub it on his gums or tongue.

Another appetite enhancer is Karo Syrup. Put a tiny amount of Karo in his mouth and then put his food plate in front of him.

Did the vet show you how to check for dehydration?

Scruff his neck, pinch lightly then let go. The skin should fold down back to normal in seconds, if it stays tented up, kitty is dehydrated and in need of subcus quickly!
post #4 of 65
Hissy gave you some good advice there - I hope it helps!
Moving this to the health forum.
post #5 of 65
I'm so sorry about Tank's illness. I couldn't possibly add to Hissy's wonderful advise, your kitty is in my thoughts and prayers. Please let us know how he is feeling!
post #6 of 65
Yes..please keep us posted about your cat. Welcome to TCS.

post #7 of 65
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your time, thoughts, and suggestions. When I got home last night, I gave him 150cc more fluids subcue, and his new antibiotic. About fifteen minutes after I gave him his meds, he threw it all up, and quite violently. This brought a whole new concern to me. If he starts throwing up, it doesn't matter how much food I force him to eat, it won't do any good if it's coming right back out! I waited a little, then gave him some more meds, and he kept those down. I called the vet this morning, and she advised that I stop the new meds and keep to the old, as the new ones may cause stomach irritation. Tank did look a bit better this morning (my boyfriend agrees, so I know I'm not just trying to fool myself), but proceeded to hide under the bed where I can't reach him for the life of me. Can you blame him? Every time I touch him, I'm either poking him with a needle or shoving something down his throat! I did manage to get him out, and force fed him some more food. The fluids I need help to administer (he's still got enough strength to fight that!), so I just fed him this morning, and when I was leaving for work, he was drinking water out of his bowl. I'm trying to not get too excited, but I think he may be a little better?... His sister, however, will not go near him since I brought him home yesterday. Any thoughts on this? She hisses and growls and looks really nervous all the time. What could that be about?
Thank you all again for all your time and suggestions. I truly appreciate it...
post #8 of 65
I hope Tank gets better soon! As for his sister hissing at him, there are two things. Fist, he's sick so he smells sick to her. Cats will avoid another sick kitty. Also, since he has been going to the vet he smells like the vet's office and she doesn't like that either.

One way to get them to smell the same is to put a tiny bit of vanilla on each of them at the back of the neck and where the back meets the tail. This way they smell the same. (I got this tip from Hissy after one of my kitties had been sick, and it worked like a charm!)
post #9 of 65
Thread Starter 
Some of you may have read my previous post about my lovable kitty Tank. So, I've been doing what the doctor has prescribed, giving him oral antibiotics, subcue fluids, and force feeding him. My heart breaks more and more for him every day. Every time I bend down towards him, I can smell the antibiotics; every time I try to feed him, I get food all over his beautiful face. I am so sad for him! Everytime I think of him, I tear up. Anyway, now he hides from me, and won't come out. He hides in places that are near impossible for me to reach him. Help! Anyone have any advice as to how I can get him without traumatizing or upsetting him more? I love him so much, it hurts so bad to see him so sick. Food doesn't work since he won't eat....I can call him till I'm blue in the face, he just stares at me calmly, not moving a muscle (except maybe his eyelids as he drifts off to sleep!) I just don't know what else to do. I realize that we may not be very good friends for a few days while we try and work this out, but I have to have access to him, or else I can't help him! My heart hurts so much for him. Any advice for a very soft-hearted and perhaps overly compassionate kitty lover?
Thank you for all of your time and suggestions. You all have been so helpful! I don't think I can tell you how much it has meant to me. I'm very scared for my Tanker.
post #10 of 65
This kitten needs a feline specialist. If you have one in your area, I urge you to call them and make an appointment and see if they can supply the answer. If the cat is not eating on its own especially after the time that has passed, this is not good and you could possibly lose Tank as a result of it.
post #11 of 65
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the thoughts and advice. I've been thinking pretty hard about finding a feline specialist, and it has since been shown to me that I really don't have a choice. Something strange is most definetly going on with my cat. He drinks water on his own, now (sigh of relief), but still refuses to eat. We've finished out his antibiotics, thank goodness, but still no real sign of improvement. What I noticed just yesterday is a significant swelling around his ribcage area. If you look farther back towards his hind legs, he's still very thin, and you can still see his spine. So I was feeling it, comparing it with Stinky (my healthy cat, his sister), and she felt firm, muscular. He, on the other hand, felt bloated, for the lack of a better word. It felt almost watery, like he is retaining a whole lot of water. But he's still peeing. I haven't seen him poop, though, so I almost wonder about an intestinal blockage of some sort. I have realized that I cannot heal my cat, and I must go somewhere else and find out what is happening. My only problem is that I am not in a financial position to do so. I've already spent $300 I couldn't afford to, and have no answers and a cat that is still sick. He's so weak, he only walks about eight steps, then plops down. His front legs shake with every step. I prayed last night, and I am a very firm believer in signs, and when he slipped into the closet and layed down inside the carrier I use to transport them around, I realized what the answer was. He HATES that thing! I have to take him in. I don't know how I'm going to pay for it (I'm a college student with a very limited income, no credit cards, no one to ask to borrow money from), but I have to try and do the best I can for him. He's my responsibility, and I love him like he's my baby. Thank you all for your contributions to this thread. You've all assisted in my decision to take him in again. I still have hope, and some serious determination to fix my kitty. I only hope that the answer is not to put him down. But if it is, at least he won't be feeling sick anymore.
He really is a trooper, though. Been holding out for a while now. I love him!!
post #12 of 65
I just now read this and I am so sorry your cat is so sick to you .
I would for sure find me a other vet if I would be you , you can ask there if you could make payments to them . Some vets let you do that . Your cat has some kind of infection or desease and the last vet did not find the cause of it . So please go find a new vet , a feline vet is best if you have one in your area .
Did you buy some baby food (human) turkey or chicken with out garlic and onion is good . Most cats will go for that , you can try to spoon feed him . Place a little on the spoon and see if he licks it , at least he would get some food in his belly . You also can force feed him that food , I did that befor with one of my cats who were very sick and did not want to eat . The baby food did the trick after frocing it in the first time .
post #13 of 65
Thread Starter 
Yes, I tried the baby food. I tried chicken, turkey, and beef. He declined that several times, as well. I have been force feeding him some Iams Prescription high calorie food, and it is the pits! He struggles and fights! I realize that's just part of it, but it still breaks my heart to see him with the food all over his face, and he's so upset with me when I'm done (and during). But like I said, I am determined to help my kitty, and will do anything in my power to do so. He won't even eat steak, which is his favorite food in the world! When he refused that, I knew something was really up. I have found one vet office near my house (South of Seattle in Washington state) that takes 50% of the estimate up front, and the other 50% two weeks later. I just have to find that first 50%! Unfortunately, the only feline specialist in our area does not accept payments, and that really bums me out, but I can understand the business reasons why. It's just so frustrating to want so badly to properly care for my kitty, and I can't afford to! I keep telling myself that I just have to be patient, things will be better when I graduate from nursing school. But I have this issue NOW, not two years down the road! I hate being poor....Anyway, I plan on taking him to the office that does the 50%/50% payments, and hopefully they can tell my what's going on with out charging me an arm and a leg!
post #14 of 65
I'm sorry Tank is still not feeling well and your having such difficulty. This must be so frustrating for you.
post #15 of 65
So sorry to hear that Tank is so sick. I hope you finally get some answers from this new vet, and that it doesn't break the bank to do so. That's so hard when you know you have to do it, but you don't know where the bucks are going to come from.

Lotsa good vibes and prayers coming your way.
post #16 of 65
Hi, I've been having problems with my kitty as well, and I took mine into the vet on friday. Your kitty needs an x-ray on his stomach to see if he has fluid in it. (my vet charged $55.00.) Also, explain to the vet your financial problem, perhaps she could comp his visit or let you pay a little at a time. If your kitty has fluid in his abodomen and it's straw in color, it's wet FIP, and I know this because my vet explained it all to me on friday. I don't want to scare you, but it's important to rule this out as it's very painful for your kitty if this is what's wrong. Please let me know, i'm so sorry your going through this, i feel so bad for my kitty, who is 6 months old, and is not healthy, so i understand what you are going through.
post #17 of 65
P.S. you don't have to go to a cat specialist to get an x-ray on his abdomen, and I would stop trying to force feed him.
post #18 of 65
Thread Starter 
I did stop force feeding him since his abdomen is so extended and I haven't seen him go poop. That really concerns me. I've been reading up on FIP (thanks to the people on this site!), and that is a fear of mine. I just called the new vet and made an appointment for today at 1140, so hopefully all of my wondering and questions will be answered. I'm not sure if he's in pain, as he doesn't make any sound when I pick him up or anything, he just lays there like a limp, weak little thing. However, he walks like he's really stiff, and last night he started losing his balance and falling down. Finally, he just laid down on the floor, looking totally exhausted. I just sat there and petted him for as long as he would stand (he only will let me for a little while, then will get up and move away) and cried because it hurts my heart so bad! I'm so afraid that I have to put him down, but I don't want him to be hurting or miserable, and understand that may be the only good choice for him. How can I make this pain go away?? I don't recall ever feeling pain quite like this...Guess it's the weight of responsibility. Thank you for all your support, I will keep you posted on what the new vet says. I still have hope that we can fix him. Maybe that's why it hurts so bad...
post #19 of 65
Hi there,

Does your cat go outdoors at all? This year has been very bad for ticks and some of them can spread a blood-born parasite called Cytauxzoonosis (Cytaux). Cytaux gets inside the red blood cells of the cat and usually kills them within 5-6 days of symptoms appearing. There is only one drug (Amidicar, sp?) that could possibly help if administered soon enough, but in the vast majority of cases, the cat dies. (I've dealt with this over the past week, I lost my little boy to it on Wednesday...)

I hope this isn't what it is, but you need to get to a vet very soon regardless.
post #20 of 65
I'm sorry your going through this. I don't have any advice, or any ideas, only wanted to say I'm sorry.
post #21 of 65
Thread Starter 
I live in an apartment, so the only place they go outside is on our balcony (we live on the top floor). I didn't want them to go outside while living at a complex like this, plus it was an agreement when I adopted them that they would stay indoors. So his run-ins with pathogens is slightly limited. The only other cat he comes in contact with is his sister, Stinky, and she's perfectly fine. I don't know about the ticks......unless they're hiding out on our deck, I don't see if that could happend....Thank you, though. At this point, pretty much everything is a possibility!
We're leaving in about 10 mins for the new vet's office....Please think of Tank, and maybe say a small prayer for him.....
Thank you.
Very distressed and saddened Mom,
post #22 of 65
Oh, poor sweet Tank! I feel your pain, Jen, and know it well. Reminds me of our Gryphon. That did not have a happy ending, but perhaps you'll get answers that were not available to us five years ago. You'll have been to the vet by now I suppose. How I hope you've received some hope. Please keep us posted. Lotsa prayers going your way.
post #23 of 65
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm back from the vet. Unfortunately, Tank is not, and never will be coming home again. The vet came in, read his records from the other facility that I had taken him to twice, looked over his blood work, and poked around on his belly for a bit. He said that because the antibiotics hadn't helped a bit and his belly was so distended, he thought it was one of two things. He suggested that it might be a bowel perforation, or FIP. The minute he said that, I knew in my heart it was FIP. I had been suspicious ever since reading info provided to me from people on this site. So he did an aspiration, and sure enough it was straw colored. He looked at it under the scope, and that confirmed his suspicions. We talked for a while, and I let him know that I had read up a bit on it and was aware that there really isn't anything that we could do for Tank. Plus the vet said that it had begun to affect him neurologically. That's why he was walking like he was, and starting to fall over. He said we could keep him alive for a while, but it would be painful for him and he would probably start having seizures and general neurological degeneration. I knew we had to put him down. It is only right. He doesn't deserve to suffer. Tank seemed to know. He hopped into his little carrier, and just layed there peacefully, letting me pet him and love on him for the last time. The vet gave me a few minutes alone with him, and I told him how much I loved him, that all his discomfort would end soon and he would be happy and feel better again. Then the vet and his assistant came in, gave me a little folder with some grievance stuff in it, and we laid him down on the towel on the counter. I pet him, told him I loved him and goodbye. He had trouble finding a vein because most seemed to be collapsed (perhaps due to dehydration?), but he did, and he injected the sleeping serum into him. OH this was so hard for me! He just laid his little head down gently, the vet checked for a pulse, and said "and that's all there is to it". I pet him a few more times, and left. That carrier was so light! My Stinky cat looked for him when I got home....Nope, no more Tanker, baby. This grief is outrageous! It hurts so bad, I can't stop crying. At least I still have Stinky cat, right? He reassured me that although it is a virus, and Tank was shedding pretty actively, that doesn't mean Stinky will get sick. I will be keeping a veeeery close eye on that Little Mow for the rest of her life!
I miss him so much already........What do I do now? How do I begin to let him go? I know that it was the right thing, I'm not feeling guilty. I'm just feeling saddened by the loss of him. He was such a beautiful good boy! Always so playful, so affectionate with us and his sister. Loved treats and a good game of chase.
Please understand that this is my first time having to do this. I had one cat as a child that lived 14 years and died of natural causes. I've never had to make this decision, and I've never lost a pet so young. He was so young!
Thank you all so very much for your thoughts, prayers, suggestions, and knowledgable advice. I really, really, really appreciate all of that. Thank you and God bless you all.

post #24 of 65
RIP Tank, I'm so sorry that you had to say goodbye to Tank. I have only just read this thread and was hoping against hope that Tank would be okay.

You have ended his suffering and in doing so showed him (and us) how much you love him. The obvious feeling that I read in your last post is a tribute to him, he is safe and well over the Rainbow Bridge.

Please give Stinky a hug from me and Jeepers.
post #25 of 65
I am so sorry for your loss. I know exactly how it feels. Although, the last time I saw my little Piper, I thought that I might get to see him healthy again, so I didn't truly get to say goodbye. I cried a lot, too. I know how you feel, though. It's so difficult to let go, as well. It's been almost a week and I'm still having a very hard time with it. I want to cry every time I go home.

I am so sorry for little Tank and for your loss.
post #26 of 65
God, I am sooooooooooo sorry! I know how awful and sad you feel. I'm glad Tank was so lucky to have you for his mommy, perhaps down the road you can give another homeless little kitty and place to call home.

The sadness will take some months to lesson, it did for me. Today I took my kitty, only 6 months old, to the vet and he is running extensive blood work on him which i will get back tomorrow. Although he isn't dreadfully sick like Tank was, he's been running a fever now for 3 weeks, and sleeps most of the time. I'm scared to death that he may have FIP as well. We lost our cat of 18 1/2 years last August, so I know the pain of losing a fur face, they're like your children. Have a glass of wine tonight and know that Tank is not suffering anymore. Also, you did everything you could, even though you couldn't afford it, you were wonderful.
post #27 of 65
Oh, dear! Jenn, I'm so sorry to hear you had to say goodbye to your wee boy. It's tough, tough, tough. But you did the right thing for him, he's at peace, and not in pain anymore. Such love you gave him. He was a lucky little fellow. Give his sister scritches for me, she'll be wondering where he is. And hugs for you. Time will mend your broken heart, but meanwhile be gentle with yourself.
post #28 of 65
Oh, Jenn, I'm so sorry for the horrible pain you're feeling. You loved Tank so much you were prepared to go to great lengths so that he could be well. That must have been such a difficult decision for you. He knows how much you love him and he loves you in return. Now your sweet Tank is in perfect health over the Bridge watching over you and Stinky. Thank you for sharing your feelings.
post #29 of 65
Oh noooooo I am so sorry of your loss

May Tank RIP
post #30 of 65
Oh Jenn, I am so sorry for your loss. You have a very special angel now.
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