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Buttercup is sick and we are in Korea! What to do?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hello,

Our cat Buttercup has been extremely lethargic and sickly the past 6 days...

On Monday night we noticed that she hadn't moved all day. On Tuesday and Wednesday this continued, and we realized that she had been sleeping in the same spot all day while we were at work. Then we noticed that she wasn't eating. Her nose was dry and warm and so were her paws and ears. We brought water to her on the bed and she drank it, but remained lethargic and wouldn't go to her food bowl and eat. After a few days my husband started taking her to her food bowl and she did eat a little... more so today (Sunday) than all week. Her nose is cool and moist again, but she seems to be having problems moving around, she can walk from the bed to the living room, but she doesn't do much more than that. And, even when she turns around to a new position while lounging, she seems to have problems with her back section. She is tentative when we pick her up, and meows. There is no outward sign of injury, but I think the problem seems to be related to not wanting to move.

Normally, in Canada, we would have rushed her off to the vet, but we are in South Korea. We do have a vet here, but he is a novice concerning cats, we were lucky to even find a vet who would take her in a country whose people do not ordinarily keep cats as pets and where many regard cats as "evil" and "vermin". He speaks a little english, but we don't have much confidence in him. That being said, we are taking her to visit him tomorrow. Is there anything specific we should ask him to do? An X Ray perhaps? He did give her a set of vaccinations 3 weeks ago (rabies and a few others). Could this be a reaction to that? She was fine right up until Sunday, even our co-teacher noticed the difference between her behaviour on Sunday and Thursday.

Posing another problem, we are moving to Thailand in two weeks and we have to take her with us. We have been here for a year, with very few problems so there is no issue with residual trauma from travelling. She did have a condition on her paws in the summer, which he treated twice and managed to clear up. At that time he suggested we switch from Royal Canin Dry food to another brand that would deal with allergies. It was Hills Science Diet and we bought it, but did not feed much of it to her as we didn't like the amount of corn content and preservatives. However, lately, we mixed the two together. As soon as we noticed something was wrong we switched back to pure Royal Canin, which is the best available brand here.

What could this be? Could the addition of the Hill's cat food have caused her sickness? Any advice would be appreciated, especially specific things we should ask this vet to look for. He has only treated 3 cats and she is one of them.
post #2 of 18
When you take buttercup to the vet, have him run a full bloodtest. check her mouth and ears. And have the vet feel her abdomin for any abnormalities.
Good luck and keep us posted.
post #3 of 18
I too live in South Korea. The vet I have lives right up the block and is pretty fluent in English and has dealt with a lot of cats, so we got lucky. Are you military? If so, you could take her to an on post vet and they could alleviate your concerns with her.
post #4 of 18
I hope you get some good vet care for your kitty. I know you must be really concerned for her.
Please let us know the outcome for your furbaby.
Linda
post #5 of 18
Prayers going out for you and your kitty. Please keep us posted how she is doing.
post #6 of 18
Can you get a syringe without the needle on it? Sounds like she at least needs to eat. You can mix wet cat food with water and syringe feed her (side of the mouth) and also give her water this way. Is she peeing normally?
post #7 of 18
Does she have a fever?
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
We took her to the vet and had a blood test. He diagnosed her with pancreatitis. He administered some shots, and hooked her up to an i.v. The i.v. is supposed to flush her system of pancreatic fluids? It is very difficult to get much information from him with his limited English. I did some reading on the internet and doesn't look like pancreatitis is easy to diagnose in cats, but he said her test showed definite high levels of a certain enzyme, and that the problem may be dietary in nature. He suggested a low fat diet which we now have to order in. The reading I have been doing suggests she may not be advised to eat or drink for a little while until the high levels of cholesterol have time to diminish?

I don't know if she has a fever. It was my husband who took her, and he is at home sitting with her and the i.v. now. We are not military, but there is another, apparently more experienced vet we can take her to, if it will make any difference.

We are so worried about our little friend. Does anyone have any experience with this condition? Is it possible he is misdiagnosing? What are our chances?
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by alliemunn
We took her to the vet and had a blood test. He diagnosed her with pancreatitis. He administered some shots, and hooked her up to an i.v. The i.v. is supposed to flush her system of pancreatic fluids? It is very difficult to get much information from him with his limited English. I did some reading on the internet and doesn't look like pancreatitis is easy to diagnose in cats, but he said her test showed definite high levels of a certain enzyme, and that the problem may be dietary in nature. He suggested a low fat diet which we now have to order in. The reading I have been doing suggests she may not be advised to eat or drink for a little while until the high levels of cholesterol have time to diminish?

I don't know if she has a fever. It was my husband who took her, and he is at home sitting with her and the i.v. now. We are not military, but there is another, apparently more experienced vet we can take her to, if it will make any difference.

We are so worried about our little friend. Does anyone have any experience with this condition? Is it possible he is misdiagnosing? What are our chances?
I think I would also take her to the other vet for a second opinion.
post #10 of 18
Buddy also had Pancreatitis. The vet told me that all it takes in some cats is one very fatty meal to get it. In my case Buddy used to be a stray, and I am sure his diet was not great. He also did a blood test, and only his pancreatic levels were high, indicating Pancreatitis. For one week, Buddy was put on Baby food meats and a suppliment called Nutri-cal. He was given antibiotic,Steriod and Vitamin Shots. He was also put on Amoxicillin and Prednisone for 1 week. After one week he was put on Hills Science Diet I/D prescription food, he went on that for one week. Then the vet gave the okay to slowly switch him back to regular food. But the food had to be a premium cat food that was not too high in fat. The current wet food that I give has 5% fat only. I was not to put him on diet food since he was a kitten still. But I have to becareful not to leave any food out that he might eat, since it would only take 1 unhealthy meal that could give him more problems.

The only thing that I do not agree with is no food or water. That is why my vet put Buddy on Baby food meat, it is very low in fat and loaded with water which helps flush out his system. He was also given a vitamin shot and suppliment so he would not become malnourished. A fasting diet is only for dogs with pancreatitis, and the same treatment does not work for cats and definetely not recomended for cats, since a cat can suddenly go downhill if not eating or drinking and can end up in kidney or liver failure.


What Medication did he put your cat on?
Just keep an eye on your cat and just watch for any changes. If he doesn't appear to be feeling better after a few days, go back to the vet.
Either way, you will have to go back to the vet for a recheck to make sure everything is cleared up and to see what dietary changes the vet wants to put your cat on.
Just make sure your cat does eat, even if it is just baby food.
Good Luck!!!!
post #11 of 18
Prayers for your cat. I hope it will be okay.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi again, thanks for all the responses and good wishes...

I don't know all the names of the medications he gave her, but he did give her an antibiotics shot. He also prescribed something (a powder - for some reason all the medications for cats here come in powder) that she has to take twice a day for the next three days. As I said, he's really hard to understand.

Anyways, after we took out the i.v. she appeared to go back to almost normal, she even came running to the door meowing to greet me as I got home from work. My husband did feed her during the i.v. treatment though, as the vet didn't say anything to him about not feeding her. I am a little worried about that. I don't understand the internet advice about not feeding either, but would one day be fatal?

Towards the end of the night she seemed very tired again, and sat on me the entire night. She did have a rough day, and we are watching her closely, but on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays we are both at work at the same time.

If she seems to relapse, we are going to take her to the other vet too, and get that second opinion. At the moment, we have two kinds of cat food (we have to order in a low fat brand because we are in a small Korean city)... they are Royal Canin Adult Fit 32 (richer in protein for sure and the one we thought was better) and Hills Prescription Allergy formula (much higher in carbohydrates, the first ingredient is corn)... does anyone know which is best in the mean time before we get the new food?
post #13 of 18
Sorry for your troubles Alliemum.

I don't know which food is better, but I do know that in Taiwan most medicine is also given in a powder. You are supposed to mix it with meat flavored baby food and the kitty "won't notice." It seems to be the norm here.
post #14 of 18
Which food has the lower fat content - RC or Hill's?
post #15 of 18
you need to pick a food that is lower in fat. Does the vet not have Science Diet I/D prescription food? It is specifically made for cats with digestive problems and pancreatitis. Buddy ate this for a couple of weeks, after a baby food diet. It was about 3 weeks of the prescription stuff before I could put him on regular food. But I still have to make sure the food he eats is not high in fat. So no supermarket foods!

If you can't get the prescription food, then look for a wet food that is no more than 4-5%fat. I know the the prescription food that Buddy was on was a 4.5% fat. You are more likly to find a good quality food that is suitable in the premium cat foods.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi again,

Thanks to everyone for their advice and good wishes.

Buttercup is much better, she chases her string and begs for food and is the very vocal kitty that we love so much.

We administered her medication by wetting her kibbles and dousing them with the powder. It works quite well since she is eating. We have to wait until next week to get the new cat food, unfortunately, but we have cut out any table scraps whatsoever. We will just have to play with her more to provide a kind of treat.

Hills prescription diet is the lower fat content food, but only by 1%. Royal canin is 15%, and no, very few vets in Gwangju even stock cat food, let alone low fat varieties. We are hoping for better in Thailand, which has a real cat culture.

Thanks everyone!

Allie
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by alliemunn
We are hoping for better in Thailand, which has a real cat culture.

Thanks everyone!

Allie
Thailand is a major pet food producer, particularly of high-priced organic foods. Generally, the factories are subsidiaries of European companies. For your sake, I hope that they don't just produce for export!
post #18 of 18
Buttercup, I'm so happy you're feeling much better! This is so wonderful, Allie!
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