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Update on our stray friend, Skyler.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Skyler's saga continues!
We took him to the vet today & got him checked out.
I was kind of worried at first, I hadn't seen him all day(I'm off for 2 vacation days), Mike was due home any minute, & here he comes strolling along as if he knew he had an appointment to keep. I had gotten pretty worried about him over the course of the weekend, his breathing seemed pretty labored..
We got him in the big carrier with some catnip, & he was SUCH a good boy thru the whole thing!
His fecal test came back negative for worms, so that's good. He was tested for feline leukemia & AIDS & came back negative- the doc was worried about some crackling in his lungs, so they did an x-ray & came back with 3 possibilities-the simplest one that she is having us treat him for is a type of pnuemonia. I can understand that, as he is always outside, we have been having some unseasonably cool weather for this time of year.
I have to say something about the x-rays, they are sooo neat to see!
Now that he has wormed his way into our hearts, Skyler is inside, closed off in our back bedroom, so that he can recover in a warm, comfortable place, & we will be able to give him his medicine every day. He seems pretty relaxed about the whole thing. He has been so good thru this whole thing, & didn't mind at all being wiped down with a damp washcloth.
It will be interesting to see what's next in store for us. Will he pee in our bedroom? (I provided him with a basic litterbox & showed him where it is)
Will he meow all night, or will he want to sleep with us?
Somehow I think it will be Mini that meows all night!
We are thinking of taking him in, or at least keeping him until we can find someone good for him. Unfortunately, his last prospect didn't come through.
We also found out that he has been neutered, which is another positive thing.
So all in all, I feel good about helping him out. And it didn't take the big bite out of our finances like I was afraid of.
He's back there chillin on the bed, sending thanks to everyone who has worried about him!
post #2 of 17
Aw, what great news! Hope the antibiotics do the trick!
post #3 of 17
So glad you posted a Skyer update - I was wondering about him.

I'm breathing a sigh of relief that he's indoors, safe with you tonight. I'd be lying if I said I'm not hoping that he becomes the newest addition to your family (LOL)...

Hope the meds work and things go smoothly. Give Skyler some extra hugs from me!
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am still worried about him-we just gave him his 3rd dose of his medicines, & he's still working hard to breathe..I hope the antibiotics kick in soon & start helping him out. Mike is back there with him on the bed watching TV. I feel bad leaving him back there in one room all day, but it's Dr.'s orders! My other 2 have been pretty good about it all-they are mildly curious, but not paying too much attention.
post #5 of 17
How's Skyler doing? Hope the meds have started to take effect. You might try putting a vaporizer or humidifier in the room with him to help his breathing.

Don't feel bad about Skyler being in the room all day - it's the first time in a long while that he's safe, and he can get some much needed rest. I don't doubt that you and Mike are frequent visitors so he won't be lonely! Glad your other babies have been so good about Skyler being there.

Sending "get well" hugs to your sweet boy.
post #6 of 17
It'll take a while for the medications to take effect, so you got to be a bit patient.

In September 2003 we got our Sir Toby, who is something like 10 - 11 years by now from a shelter. He's been there for four months, he was found wandering around in May 2003, also suffering from respirational problems. At the shelter they gave him antibiotics for a few days but stopped giving them too soon.
He was kind of quiet, not too active, sneezed a lot and, especially in the mornings after waking up, blew out big gooey green gobs.
Our vet gave us an antibiotic ( a paste, which he licked off my finger w/o any problems) and told us to let him have it for three weeks straight. After some days he started to improve and after the three weeks he was a different cat! He's active, lively, likes to romp around the place and plays with his girlfriend Pinky. They chase each other back and forth, they wrestle, but in a playful fashion.
To cut a long story short, don't cut off the antibiotics too soon, even if he improves - the infection might bounce back!

C U later

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Joe, I hope you're right!-This will be his 3rd full day with us, & there is no improvement at all..right now he is laying on the bed in front of our fan, breathing hard. He has done this, then he will get up & cough. The first time I saw him cough, I thought he was having dry heaves. After that he is more active & usually wants to eat. The vet said to call back in a couple days if there was no improvement, yet there is still plenty of medicine to go. I have the middle room open, closing my other 2 off in the living room, & figured I'd spend some time in here on the computer if he wanted to stretch his legs, & he just now came out to explore & ask an occasional question. He pretty much acts normal, but his lungs are still working so hard..
post #8 of 17
I keep my fingers crossed for Skyler hoping that he will get well soon. If he's just on his third day of medications it's normal that he doesn't show any significant improvement yet. But, believe me, the medications are busy smoking out the enemy but it will take a certain time.
You guys are doing a great job of helping him by making him feel comfortable and cozy in a warm place where he doesn't have to worry about anything, by giving him lots of rest, he could relax and take it easy, which is exactly what he needs right now. I guess you know what you felt like yourselves last time you've had a head cold, this is what he's feeling like. Skylers feeling weak and relaxing a lot is a normal reaction. Instinctively he's doing the right thing - preserving his strength for the task at hand which is the war against the infection.
The introduction to your other cats could be done once Skyler feels o.K.
When we got Sir Toby our two girls where somewhat wary of him as long as he was sick but that wariness subsided once Sir Toby was o.K.
I guess that cats just instinctively steer clear of a sick fellow in order to avoid being infected, too.

Skyler, old buddy boy, get well soon. Put your trust in Me-n-my guys, they're doing a great job looking after you!


P.S: Got a picture of him?
post #9 of 17
I do hope he responds soon to the antibiotic. But if there is still a problem with his lungs, the vet might check him for lung or heartworm, which can also cause rasping when listened to through the stethoscope. Both are usually treatable.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Skyler sends thanks to everyone for being so kind!
There has been a big change in my outlook on what may be wrong with him, because of a PM from a fellow member ..(Thank you RockCat!)
Skyler was a trusting stray in what many would consider a rough neighborhood. We don't live in the ghetto, that's on the other side of US-1. We're close.
RockCat asked if injuries had been ruled out, & the more I thought about it, & after REALLY looking him over, I am wondering if poor Skyler has been kicked in the ribs.
To stand & look down on him standing, his sides are working hard, but his left side is really hollowing out. If I put my hands on either side to compare, there is definitely something wrong there. If I put my head to his side while he is laying down, I can hear the rattling that the vet heard. It brings to mind my own rib injury years ago- the cartilage had seperated from the bone, I could feel it moving/clicking in there.
When I asked my doc why they aren't going to tape up my ribs, he said it was because it could cause congestion & possibly pnuemonia.
I called the vet about these concerns, Skyler was due for his follow-up anyway, so he goes in Sat. morning. I have a TON of questions.
The more I see my neighbors acting like they are into drugs, the more I can believe that Skyler was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Has anyone ever had something like this happen to one of their cats?
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
More on far, so good!
Saturday morning we took him to the vet. After taking a GOOD look at the x-rays, a fresh rib injury was ruled out. It did look like he had some old injuries, though.
He had a REALLY rough night Friday, just laying there & breathing so hard..he would get up & rest his head against the scratching board I have leaning against the wall, like he was just worn out & miserable.
The vet gave him a shot of Prednisone, + some of the same in pill form, & he is improving. He also took some blood for a heartworm test, so we'll find out about that on Monday. He is still getting his antibiotics, much to his delight.
Right now he is laying nearby, being your usual lazy cat, all of the doors are open to him now, & he is just chillin. My other 2 have hissed at him, but are basically staying away, no fights have broken out, & so far it's all good. The litterboxes are both in the laundryroom instead of in awkward places with litter everywhere, & Mini can sleep with us again tonight, hopefully- I miss her!
Hopefully I'll have some pics of him someday soon!
post #12 of 17
Keep us posted on how this special boy is progressing. The prednisone should reduce any swelling. Hopefully he starts feeling more energetic soon!
post #13 of 17
Well - it could be that it's taking a while for the meds to work. It has only been a few days. Sending some healing vibes Skyler's way!

One of the kitties we rescued, Flowerbelle, had a persistent cough that nothing seemed to treat. It turned out she had lung worm (this is one of the reasons we left our old vet and have our new vet!). Lung worm shows up on an X-ray just like pneumonia does, and it is rare around here (northern NJ). But if it's lung worm, it should turn up in a fecal smear, so it looks like that has been ruled out.

(We were worried about Flowerbelle's lack of energy and persistent cough - and this was after she'd been in a hospital for about a month and a half - recovering from injuries and other illnesses when she was first rescued. We went to a new vet for a second opinion. He took a fecal smear, and came back into the exam room and said "you've got to see this. I've never seen anything like it." Her fecal smear was almost all parasites. The original vet dosed her with traditional parasite meds and never took a follow-up check to make sure she was parasite free before they sent her home with us! And they KNEW how important it was that there be no parasites, because we'd been working so hard to get the the other feral rescues that we'd adopted parasite free. They had round worm that was immune to their traditional meds to begin with, and it had been a little over a year before we got it all cleared up. I cannot tell you how angry we were - and yes, they all got lung worm. It took almost two years, but they're all finally completely parasite free. So if his cough doesn't clear up soon - maybe consider getting another fecal smear done just to make sure).

Sounds like you're going to have a love bug on your hands.

I don't know how familiar you are in working with strays/ferals and introducing new cats to each other, but there are some things you can do to help them get along. There's a great article in the Behavior section of TCS: "I'd Like You to Meet...." Introducing Cats You can also help foster good feelings between kitties by wiping each down with a wash cloth or towel of some sort, and putting existing kitties' towels under Skyler's food dish and Skyler's towel under their food dish. This'll help them come to associate good things with each other's scents. You can do this by placing treats on the "scented" towels as well.

Thank you for rescuing this kitty!
post #14 of 17

any news on Skyler, how's he doing?

C U later

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Joe1959

any news on Skyler, how's he doing?

C U later

He's doing pretty good! Over the weekend, after the Prednisone treatments, his breathing is back to normal. He kept wanting to go outside, so we are kind of letting him come & go-he is in here, somewhere..
I was able to get a picture of him today, it was very difficult, he wouldn't be still & kept swishing against my legs!
I'm sorry this picture is sooooo HUGE! I just got my first digital camera & have had some serious distractions around the house so my time has been cut shorter than I would like..I'll do better next time!
post #16 of 17
Wow, Skyler is one beautiful boy!!! The pic may be too big, but what a great picture it is! He looks fantastic and I'm so happy to hear the meds have helped him breathe normally again.

Hang tough about keeping him inside - after all he (and YOU) have been through, you don't want to chance something happening to him now.

How are your other babies doing - are they still ok with Skyler?
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
My other 2 stinkers are relaxing around him. They aren't hissing & antagonistic like they were before.
But he likes to go outside... he will let me know when he wants to go out, & will come back later at the screen, meowing. If I try to keep him inside, he wants to tear up my screens trying to get out. We feed him in here so that we don't attract all of the neighborhood wildlife, plus it's calm & clean. He likes the best of both worlds right now, so I will just see what happens.
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