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I need a little support - Hans has something wrong.

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I've already lost three cats this year, and I'm scared I might be loosing a fourth.

I noticed that for the past two days, someone had been dribbling around the litterbox. All three cats were acting normal, so I thought I'd wait it out and see if someone started acting wierd. (With three cats and no money, it's not like I could haul them all in to get checked.) And I figured if it were anything, it was the Little One chasing Merlin out of the box in a hurry to play.

Well, I woke up this morning to find Hans squatting on my bathroom rug in a complete daze. He wouldn't move even his head when I went to pet him, and then I noticed a few bright yellow drop on the rug. Went to the phone, called the vet. He moved into the living room and did the same thing, so I helped him (it seems like he's having trouble walking) into the bathroom, added a clean litterbox, and shut the door.

His muscles on his rear end are spasming, and the urine has no odor. He's like a walking zombie. He won't even come out from the litterbox, he just stays in there, crouching down like he's trying to go. But he's not crying or wimpering like he's in pain.

I don't get it, he was perfectly fine last night, I even watched him use the litterbox normally.

Merlin and the Little Ones are taking turns, one sitting at the bathroom door and the other staying with me. I leave for the vet's office at 3:45 EST. I'm hoping it's nothing serious. I'm tapped out and my family is refusing to lend me any more money for my cats.
post #2 of 27
Oh! I'm so sorry, I have no idea to tell you what is going on... but poor little guy! I'm so glad you're taking him to the vet and I hope they can figure out what's wrong and treat it so he's back to normal in no time!
post #3 of 27
Good luck, I do hope he's going to the vet. Sounds like a UTI and is serious in Male cats.
post #4 of 27
Have you told the receptionist at the clinic what his symptoms are? They might be able to get him in sooner, if they realize how sick he is.

If you have an established relationship with the vet, hopefully he/she will work with you. I sure hope Hans will be OK.

Here's an article that might be of help:
What You Can Do If You Are Having Trouble Affording Veterinary Care
post #5 of 27
your poor baby!!! i hope things at the vet go okay and he starts to feel better right away!
post #6 of 27
Sounds like he is seriously blocked or impacted. Please let us know what the vet finds out. I might suspect a stroke, but those don't usually happen in the younger cats.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah, they're fitting me in as soon as possible. I was just in the day after Thankgiving, and had to put to sleep an amazing little kitten that had distemper. I was also just in last Monday because Mer had been acting a little off, but it's due to the fact he's gained weight. They know my voice on the phone, and they know I don't call unless something is wrong.

What worries me the most is that the receptionist called me back once I listed his symptoms. That means she went and talked to my vet to see what he said, and she let slip that instead of seeing him as a drop-off (where I'd go in, give a list of symptoms, and when the vet had a few minutes he'd give Hans a thurough check), the vet insisted that it be an appoinment with me there. Which, to me, isn't a good sign.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hans is at the least 14 years old. I took him home about three months ago - his family brought him back to the shelter after 12+ years because they moving and didn't want to deal with the hair and a litterbox in their new house.

He is actually perking up. He dribbled a bit more on the bathroom rug, and in the litterbox. He was purring and rubbing me when I brought a water dish in to him. Right now he's pawing at the door, trying to get out.

When I was in there I noticed his tail and back end having another spasm. The muscles were jittering pretty back, so I put a little pressure on them and rubbed, and it stopped. He even let out huge sigh when it stopped.
post #9 of 27
Sorry, I thought he was younger. It could very well be a stroke then. It is not a bad thing that the vet wants to see you, it is a good thing, so Hans can get some help and you can get some answers. He needs you to help fill in the gaps of his questions-

Please let us know what they find out?
post #10 of 27
I'm not a vet, but it sounds like his symptoms are very similar to what Oreo suffered earlier this year - Oreo had a urinary blockage and was very ill, but it was treatable & he's fine now.

Hopefully whatever it is, it will be something the vet can take care of.

We'll be thinking of you.
Sending healing prayers for Hans (((get well Hans)))
post #11 of 27

I am so sorry your kitty is sick, it sounds to me like he has a UTI(Urinary Tract Infection) or a urinary blockage which are common in male cats and are very serious. My male had crystals in his bladder and if I hadn't taken him to the vet when I did he would have died. I hope your kitty gets well soon!!! I am so sorry you lost 3 kitties this year too!!!

Take Care-
post #12 of 27
It's almost 5, How is Hans? Give us word as soon as you can!
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Back from the Vet!

The diagnosis was probable Inflammitory Bladder Disease. The vet does not think that it's a bladder infection, but since his bladder was empty, he couldn't get a sample. So I'm to give him Clavamox twice a day for two weeks, just to be on the safe side. If he's not doing any better on Monday, I'm to bring him back in and they'll do an X-ray. The vet felt no stones, and seriously doubts he has an actual blockage, since Hans was able to empty his bladder by himself, though he was straining. And the reason he didn't use the litterbox isn't because he's in pain, it's because he had to go right then.

I'm also to switch all the cats over to canned food, and it should prevent my cats from having this again. There was a study recently released from Ohio State University about the disease and how canned food actually prevents problems by keeping cats hydrated. The urine doesn't become concentrated and super-acidic, and in turn should stop the inflammation. Studies have shown that cats that eat nothing but canned food will never have this problem.

My vet told me that something like 80% of cats will have bladder problems in their lives, and that bladder infections are misdiagnosed 98% of the time. (Don't know how true this is.) Most cats that are in shelters for repeatedly peeing outside the litterbox and that have been treated many times for bladder infections, don't have behavioural problems - they have this inflammitory disease. He said it's usually caused by stress, even the slightest thing, and it could come back in two weeks, or a few months, or even never happen again. (But the canned food prevents it.)

All I know is that I'm calling up my best friend. They've been fighting with they're 9 year old cat for the past couple of years, because she keeps peeing around the house. Everything has been ruled out, and they've even tried special dry diets. I'm going to tell them to talk to their vet about putting her on a canned only diet.

Thank you all for your support! I really thought I'd find out it was something serious and either go broke trying to fix it or have toput him down. I almost started crying when they said he'd be fine.

Now all I have to do is worry about trying to wrangle medicine into a 17 pound cat once I have my tonsils out on Tuesday. Mom refuses to try and medicate him because she's afraid she'll get bit.
post #14 of 27
I'm glad he's okay, you must be so relieved. I'm afraid I don't know much about what you were talking about other than what you've just told me... hopefully someone will be along soon to agree with you!
post #15 of 27
I'm so glad it looks like he'll be OK! Whew! Hopefully he'll feel better quickly on his new diet & meds.

Thanks for the update.
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Can anyone direct me to a site or article on how much canned food a cat should get in a day?

I've never done canned than more than a treat, and I don't trust feeding guidelines on company packaging, because they want the cat to eat more so that you'll buy more. Both my big boys need to lose weight. Hans is 17 pounds, and Merlin is 18 pounds.
post #17 of 27
I'm late to this thread, I'm glad you were able to get him in and seen today, and that it sounds like all will be well.

I read what you said about not trusting the feeding guidelines, but honestly, I can't say feed x amt, because each food is different re the number of calories per serving, and the quality of the food makes a difference as well.

Perhaps someone who knows more than I (I surely do not know it all) can advise, but for now, I will tell you that I'm feeding my cat who blocked recently a wet food diet only, and the food he's eating advises 1-3 oz. can per 3 lbs. of wt., he needs to gain a lb at least, so I'm giving him 9 to 12 oz.s per day, and may up it some more!

If it were me, I'd first decide on the brand you want to feed, then try the suggested amt. for the wt. you want him to decrease to (just do it if he needs to lose 3-4 lbs. don't underfeed him that much, feed him as if he's 1-2 lbs. lighter than he is, and as he loses, decrease the food to the level it should be for the wt. he should be.)
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
I forgot that this is the vet's late night. I called an asked the receptionist to talk to the doctor about how much I should feed, and she'll call be back tomorrow. I have to admit that I'm going with his recommendation of Iams canned. (I can't afford any of the better canned foods at the moment. Maybe next semester will be better.) I think it'll be a great idea, because I can give Hans a senior formula, Mer a weight control, and the Little One kitten chow!
post #19 of 27
If you have trouble giving your kitty pills, my vet gave me a pill pusher which looks like a straw with a plunger. It usually works good, I rub their throat to trigger the swallowing mechanism. Or try a dab of butter on the pill. I think the resaon cats don't like it is because the actual pill itself is dry. Just think of trying to swallow aspirin without water. That's why something moist goes with it you have a better chance of the cats not spitting it out. Good luck.
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
My vet always asks if I prefer pill or liquid. It's why I love him so much!

But thank you for the advice GailC, I'll keep that in mind if I ever have to give a medicine that comes in pill-only form. (Though my vet does have a pharmacy they work with to make chewable pills in "any disgusting flavor imaginable - even liver", so I can suit the taste to the individual cat. It costs a little more, but I think it'll be better than getting bitten. )

Since the clavamox only stays good for 7 days, they gave me an unmixed bottle with instructions so I can make a fresh batch next Friday. (It comes in powdered form, and has to be mixed with water to activate it - and once it's mixed it has to be stored in the fridge. It's the same thing as Amoxicillin, the stuff that tastes like bubblegum. I hated it when I was a kid, and none of my cats like it now.)
post #21 of 27
It sounds like everything is going to be ok, and IAMS is a really good food to be feeding your kitties, that is what I feed my Persians.

Take Care-

post #22 of 27
Actually Nutro or another natural food like that is better then anything else like IAMS or Friskies or any of those chemical filled foods. I found that out the hard way when I fed all my cats IAMS and my persian was reacting badly to the chemicals in the food (it was messing with his kidneys I think) and it actually could have killed him if I continued and didn't do anything about it. He was peeing all over too. I like to tell people about this because I always thought IAMS was the best food cuz its so popular but it actually isn't that great.
post #23 of 27
Yeah IAMS is not the best food. I say anything you can buy at your local grocery store, is not good quality food. I feed my guys Innova dry and Nutro wet.
post #24 of 27
How much canned food to feed really depends on the food itself. Jamie gets 1/2 dry (his preference) and 1/2 canned (my preference). He weighs just under 14 lbs., and the "ideal" amount of canned food (half a day's ration, going by brands that consist of 98-99% meat and 1-2% natural rice) ranges from 70 g. to 100 g., with about 30 g. of high-quality dry food for breakfast. There's no "golden rule" to go by. The canned food he gets, with the exception of Innova, Solid Gold, and California Natural, is European, so I can't help you there. Iams is so-so as far as quality is concerned, though much better than Friskies and other supermarket brands. The more meat, and the less grain, the better. One thing about the more expensive brands - since the quality, i.e, nutritional value, is so much higher, the lower amounts consumed generally mean that you don't end up spending (much) more than you would for the necessary amounts of lower-quality food. One big advantage of canned food is that you can add a few teaspoons of warm water to increase fluid intake. Also make several water bowls available throughout your home, at a distance from the food bowls. Unseasoned chicken or beef broth added to water generally increases water intake, and a cat water fountain (Drinkwell, Fresh Flow, or Catit) may do the trick, also. Cat milk or lactose-free cow's milk, if accepted, will increase fluid intake; be aware, however, that some brands of cat milk contain sugar, and should be avoided, and that both types of milk mean added calories.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
All three of my cats drink about one cup of water each per day, usually more. I have two water dishes that I'm constantly refilling, and Merlin drinks right from the tap several times a day. I was surprised myself when my vet told me they're not getting enough fluids, but I have a feeling he's used to owners fibbing to him.

I have to go with Iams, and I wish I could feed something less expensive. Here's the breakdown -
Hans - 17 pounds - 15 oz per day (Adult wieght control)
Mer - 18 pounds - 15 oz per day (Senior formula)
Little One - 8 pounds (6 months) - 8 oz per day (Kitten formula)

Even if I buy the 14 oz. cans of Iams, that's over two and a half cans a day. At about 1.14 dollars a can, not including tax...

It works out to more than 90 dollars a month! That's not even one week's pay for me! I can't afford car insurance as it is - my grandparents have been paying it. (Thanks to having to go to the vet three times a month.) And mom won't even consider feeding canned, so I'd be paying the bills.

I'd probably have a heart attack if I did the calculations for more expensive canned food!

If it were only two cats, it really wouldn't be too much more than what I'm paying now for dry food. I wouldn't even blink at the cost. But add Hans into the equation, and woo-boy, it gets pricey. And it's not even like I could put just Hans on canned (since he's really the only one who needs it now) because playing favorites would equal huge cat fights and hurt feelings.

So I'm going Iams dry weight control for free-feeding (it stops the cat fights if they aren't stressed about there being no food). And then half a can of the appropriate Iams canned per day. (The large cans are actually the same price per oz. as those dinky cans of Friskies and Wiskas.) I wish I could feed them just wet, but at least I can afford to feed them a little per day.
post #26 of 27
Could you soak the dry in water? Becky
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
It breaks down the proteins in dry food.

Plus, my boys give me the "You're poisoning me!" look. I have a gut feeling that it would be like soaking dry ramen noodles in warm tap water. Ick.
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