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Sick old cat...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
I'm new to this forum and I have a question. We adopted a cat (Gorby) from a shelter 2 years ago.. They told us he was 4 or 5 and he was skinny... After we had him home for a while, we realized he seemed like an old man.. Not jumping and when he gets up after laying around, he seems like he struggles a bit.. The vet told us he may be much older.. maybe 10 or 12.. So I was sad to know he was old but happy to let him live out his years in a good home..
He put on a ton of weight because he was eating much better but not moving around so much... Over the last 6 months we notice he was getting thin and recently we noticed his hip bones sticking out so I took him to the vet and he said his red blood count is very low but the strange part is his platlet count is 52.. They said it should be between 200 & 300. The Dr. told me he was puzzled. He asked the other dr.s in the office as well and none of them have ever seen a cat wit such a low platlet count.. He's not bleeding and act's normal. The only thing is he seems hungry more and they thought it was a thyroid problem but that checked out normal..
So he concluded it is some type of cancer draining him and to proceed with any further testing he would need a painful bone marow test and then we would need to figure out what treatment once we figure out what cancer.... I don't want to put him through that. Aside from being skinny, he seems fine.. He's not in any pain...Also, he had a "catscan" and there are no visible tumors and all the organs seem normal in the picture...

Has anyone experienced anything like this? Or does anyone have any suggestions? I don't think he could handle any heavy duty treatments...The dr. basically said take him home & love him & feed him & hope not to see you for a while... I feel helpless... I want to so something but I don't know what...

I appreciate any info.. I also have 2 other cats Murphy & Boots!

Thanks,
Judith
post #2 of 17
I think at this point, because you have seen a vet and you know that the cat is much older than the shelter told you he was. I would just see to his comfort. But please understand that cats are born of this world with the instinct to not show pain. Because they are so low on the food chain, they know that the minute they show they are weakening, a predator will swoop in and finish the job, so it is inbred in them to be stoic when they are hurting.

I would recommend a new book Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. Inside, you will find tips on better eating programs, and different ways (alternative therapies) to keep an animal comfortable when they are ailing.

Thank you for rescuing this poor cat and for caring so much. Also check out a website called cat-health online.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for replying hissy...

We are a Science diet food family so I know his diet is ok but perhaps I can find something to build his red blood cell count..

I will check out some other alternative therapies...




Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
I think at this point, because you have seen a vet and you know that the cat is much older than the shelter told you he was. I would just see to his comfort. But please understand that cats are born of this world with the instinct to not show pain. Because they are so low on the food chain, they know that the minute they show they are weakening, a predator will swoop in and finish the job, so it is inbred in them to be stoic when they are hurting.

I would recommend a new book Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. Inside, you will find tips on better eating programs, and different ways (alternative therapies) to keep an animal comfortable when they are ailing.

Thank you for rescuing this poor cat and for caring so much. Also check out a website called cat-health online.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by JUDITH
Thanks for replying hissy...

We are a Science diet food family so I know his diet is ok but perhaps I can find something to build his red blood cell count..

I will check out some other alternative therapies...
Ask your vet about the appropriateness for your kitty of using Pet-Tinic and/or Twinlab Vitamin B Complex, I use both with my crf (chronic kidney failure) kitty who has the anemia they typically develop.

best wishes to you with this oldster (ps, science diet is not, imho, a superior food...doing a search here on "science diet" will bring up numerous discussion threads on this).
post #5 of 17
Do you remember what his thyroid levels were? You might have them test the "Free T4" as it can be more accurate than the normal T4 test.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud_shade
Do you remember what his thyroid levels were? You might have them test the "Free T4" as it can be more accurate than the normal T4 test.

Hi Cloud,

I don't remember what he said except he was very surprised it was not his thyroid. He said that was normal. (whatever that means) I put the thyroid out of my mind...
Do you know how a thyroid condition is treated?
post #7 of 17
There are three main treatment options for hyperthyroidism. The most commonly used is with medication, usually Tapazole (generic: methimazole). This stuff works for most cats and comes in many different forms, including pills, liquid, chews, and transdermal (which is rubbed on the ears). Medication treats the thyroid levels but isn't a cure, so the cat will need medication for the rest of its life.

If the kidneys are okay, the other two options are surgery and radioiodine injection. The surgery removes some or all of the thyroid gland. It can be risky because the parathyroid glands (which regulate calcium) may accidently be removed as well. The cat will sometimes need supplementation with a thyroid hormone and with calcium depending on how much of the gland is removed. The radioiodine treatment is an injection iodine-131, a radioactive isotope. The iodine molecules are taken up by the thyroid gland As the molecules decay, they destroy the "bad" thyroid tissue leaving the good tissue intact. This treatment is a cure for about 95% of cats.

Unfortunately, my kitty Spot is in the 5% where it didn't work so well, so I put him back on medication. He's doing much better now, and he may have a second round of the I-131 treatment as he gains a little more weight. Sometimes cats will need a second treatment, and many facilities will provide the second one at no cost.

The medication treatment is the least expensive in the short run but can be the most costly over time. The radioiodine treatment is the most expensive upfront, but since it often cures the cat, it can be the least expensive over time.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix
Ask your vet about the appropriateness for your kitty of using Pet-Tinic and/or Twinlab Vitamin B Complex, I use both with my crf (chronic kidney failure) kitty who has the anemia they typically develop.

best wishes to you with this oldster (ps, science diet is not, imho, a superior food...doing a search here on "science diet" will bring up numerous discussion threads on this).

Thanks Pat & Alex... I thougth Science diet was the best you can buy... I will look into it. Also, I am a vegeterian and take vitamin B complex and I know how powerful than can be so I will also look into that as well.. I may ask the vet his opinion but if he is like my regular Dr, he will have no comment regarding suppliments...

Thanks for the advice & info....
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud_shade
There are three main treatment options for hyperthyroidism. The most commonly used is with medication, usually Tapazole (generic: methimazole). This stuff works for most cats and comes in many different forms, including pills, liquid, chews, and transdermal (which is rubbed on the ears). Medication treats the thyroid levels but isn't a cure, so the cat will need medication for the rest of its life.

If the kidneys are okay, the other two options are surgery and radioiodine injection. The surgery removes some or all of the thyroid gland. It can be risky because the parathyroid glands (which regulate calcium) may accidently be removed as well. The cat will sometimes need supplementation with a thyroid hormone and with calcium depending on how much of the gland is removed. The radioiodine treatment is an injection iodine-131, a radioactive isotope. The iodine molecules are taken up by the thyroid gland As the molecules decay, they destroy the "bad" thyroid tissue leaving the good tissue intact. This treatment is a cure for about 95% of cats.

Unfortunately, my kitty Spot is in the 5% where it didn't work so well, so I put him back on medication. He's doing much better now, and he may have a second round of the I-131 treatment as he gains a little more weight. Sometimes cats will need a second treatment, and many facilities will provide the second one at no cost.

The medication treatment is the least expensive in the short run but can be the most costly over time. The radioiodine treatment is the most expensive upfront, but since it often cures the cat, it can be the least expensive over time.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
Cloud, you seem to be very experienced in this area...
My vet seemed to feel that the extreamly low platlet count means he has some kind of cancer....In you opinion, does that make sence? He also tested to lukemia...Every test was negitive..
post #10 of 17
Judith,
This old cat is blessed to have you love him so much. Wishing you the best as you strive to love him and take care of him.
post #11 of 17
I have a similar problem. I have a very old cat about 18 years old. I took her to the vet last week for extreme drooling and not eating. She has a jaw disorder that causes her jaw to grow. It is very painfull and she is on steroids. It's not helping though. I feed her this paste that I got from the vet that has very high calories to keep her from starving until we fix the situation. I think the paste is called nutri-cal and it's about $10 for a tube. You may want to try it.
post #12 of 17
I am sorry you are stuck with this...

In humans ( I don't about cats)... platelets can fall if the spleen is
not working properly (a viral insult can cause this),

or it can be autoimmune (ITP--idiopathic thromobocytopenia).
This is treated with steroids. high dose prednisone.

I searched Google for you keyword ITP feline
and found this:
http://www.vetinfo.com/cblood.html

I hope this helps.

Best to Gorpy and you Judith!

ShrimpLover
post #13 of 17
I have a lot of experience with hyperthyroid due to my foundling, Spot. He's been a somewhat hard to treat cat, though he's very good natured about it. I don't know about the platelet count issue. If it were red blood cells, I might think he was bleeding, but with just platelets, I'm not sure.

This site has some good information about low platelet counts:
http://www.petplace.com/articles/artShow.asp?artID=647
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud_shade
I have a lot of experience with hyperthyroid due to my foundling, Spot. He's been a somewhat hard to treat cat, though he's very good natured about it. I don't know about the platelet count issue. If it were red blood cells, I might think he was bleeding, but with just platelets, I'm not sure.

This site has some good information about low platelet counts:
http://www.petplace.com/articles/artShow.asp?artID=647

Thank you.. I will go to that site.... He also has low blood count.. But the platlet is VERY low...

I hope you get this message.. I can't see to be able to reply to messages.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugaboo1
Judith,
This old cat is blessed to have you love him so much. Wishing you the best as you strive to love him and take care of him.
Bugaboo..Thank you for your kind words... I have a soft spot in my heart for animals but cats really get to me.. I rescued all 3 of my cats & the one I had prior to these 3....
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammie
I have a similar problem. I have a very old cat about 18 years old. I took her to the vet last week for extreme drooling and not eating. She has a jaw disorder that causes her jaw to grow. It is very painfull and she is on steroids. It's not helping though. I feed her this paste that I got from the vet that has very high calories to keep her from starving until we fix the situation. I think the paste is called nutri-cal and it's about $10 for a tube. You may want to try it.
Sammie, I'm sorry for yout kitty troubles.. It's so hard to see them when they are sick... Thank you for your suggestion...
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShrimpLover
I am sorry you are stuck with this...

In humans ( I don't about cats)... platelets can fall if the spleen is
not working properly (a viral insult can cause this),

or it can be autoimmune (ITP--idiopathic thromobocytopenia).
This is treated with steroids. high dose prednisone.

I searched Google for you keyword ITP feline
and found this:
http://www.vetinfo.com/cblood.html

I hope this helps.

Best to Gorpy and you Judith!

ShrimpLover
Shrimp,
I have had trouble posting so I'm not sure if you ever received a post from me... Many thanks for the link... I want to try wjay ever I can to make him comfortable and happy for what ever time he has left.. He a sweet old man!
Sometime next week I will try to post a picture.. He is quite handsom!
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