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any vets with advice?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Since November my geriatric cat(17) was recieving steroid shot and later in the month, steroid pills, and if necessary an appetitie stimulant. This was for her allergies, slight asthma and lack of appetite. It worked very well, the shot was like the fountainnof youth for her. The last two months she has had bouts of vomiting blood. I have been giving her calfarate for her stomach and there is less blood, but still blood vomit nevertheless. It has been daily for the past 5 days. I think the steroid was irratating her stomach, although that is not definite and an ultra sound may be in order. Since her last shot was 4/3 and I am not giving her any steroid pills, she is really going down hill. she barely takes a bite or two of food, and I can tell she just doesn't feel good. I have been giving her the carafate for 4 days, three times a day. The question is, what else besides steroid could make her feel better? Are there antihistamines for cats? What about astma meds?
If these things can be treated, she could have good quality of life. I hate to see her suffer, but I don't want to put her down unless she would have a terminal illness, which I don't think she has. Any thoughts? We will be going to the vet this week. prednesolone and perictia are the meds. She is really dragging without the prednesolone, but I think there is a link between it and her bleeding stomach.
post #2 of 11
I am not a vet , but I am a vet tech of 6 yrs. I too have an asthmatiic cat, I am thinking that maybe you cat has developed stomach ulcers due to the pred, not sure just a thought. I am fearful of steriods for Uno since I have seen them lead to diabetes in cats with long term use and Uno is only 1 1/2. The way I treat his asthma is with both and Albuterol and a steriod inhaler, which I only use the steroid one when his asthma gets relly bad. I am not sure if it will work for your kitty but it is sure worth a shot right? The "tube" that I place it in is called the AeroCat- it just disperses the medicine so it is easier fir him to breath it in, instead of like us where we have to hold our breath and breathe in at the same time as puffing the meds. I wish your kitty the best and please let me know how she is doing. You may also want to try a little meat flavored baby foods to get her to eat, but they also settle the tummy when upset.
post #3 of 11
This is VERY IMPORTANT: did you wean your cat off the prednisolone, or stop it abruptly? Cats CAN NOT simply stop taking steroids, the dosage must gradually and carefully be reduced under your vet's supervision.

Hopefully you haven't just stopped given her the pred, but if you did call your vet *NOW* and tell them!!!

Steroid shots work wonders - temporarily. Long term use of steroids is something you want to avoid unless there is absolutely no other option.

Eating too little is dangerous for a cat - you can't let that continue. Feed her by hand or with a syringe if necessary (see www.assistfeed.com). Make sure she stays hydrated as well, since dehydration will make her go downhill even faster than not eating.

The questions you're asking about allergies, asthma, etc. are all good ones, and I'm sure you've asked your vet these questions already. There are some meds for asthma, if that's what your cat really has. It seems to me that your vet has prescribed what he/she thought was indicated, but apparently your poor kitty isn't getting better. Vomiting blood for days is extremely serious. If she were my cat, I'd be going for a second opinion from a feline specialist TODAY.

PS - There are no vets on this message board, although there are some vet techs.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I did stop the steroid without weaning. She hasn't had any for 4 or 5 days. she would get a shot once a month and towards the middle of the month till the end I would give her a pill a few days in a row or as I thought she needed them. She hadn't vomited for 6 days and then after I gave her three pills in three days, she started vomiting blood. She has not vomited in 24 hours, but she is really dragging. she is eating a tiny bit, drank some tuna water. she is just weak. the steroids gave her pep. She seems to be really crashing. since she hasn't vomited for 24 hours, I was considering giving her a steroid pill, but I am afraid to,, if it will cause stomach irratation for her. I will be making an appointment tomorrow. Hopefully this vet will have the answer. Initially the steroid shots were great. she had a full body xraY, AND IT SHOWED ASTHMA. She started vomiting blood a month ago after her shot. I told my vet, but he sort of dismissed me, he didn't really listen, he would say a little blood goes a long way, when I took it into him, he was pissed as if I never told him, "this is the first I am hearing this" but I think he was pissed at himself for not listening to me. He recommends a sonogram, which he doesn't do, so I have to go to the other vet.
update: I gave her a half of a steroid, and some of the stomach med. she did drink and eat a little right before that, so they were not on an empty stomach. I hope she gets better and there is something that will make her feel as good as the steroid did.
post #5 of 11
OMG you CAN NOT just give your cat steroids as you think she needs them!!!
Didn't your vet tell you how to use the prednisolone???

It's possible that your cat had a bad reaction to the pred - some adverse effects include: increased thirst, increased appetite, panting, vomiting, restlessness, diarrhea. STOMACH ULCERS are also a possibility. Still, you should NOT simply stop giving the meds. Pred affects the adrenal glands - some of what you're seeing in your cat now is very likely the effect of abruptly discontinuing the medication.

PLEASE get your cat to a different vet, preferrably a feline specialist. I see that you live in Philadelphia - there must be specialists and/or emergency diagnostic centers there, as we have here in the NY/NJ area. Find one ASAP.

Please tell them what's going on, and that you've stopped and then started the pred again. Don't wait for an appointment that's days away. Your cat is lethargic and barely eating. Take your cat in NOW!!!
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
To Ktlyn, My vet has not been concerned about the way the predinosone was being used. After all, if you give a shot once a month, Isn't that abruptly stopping them until the next month? When I posted this message yesterday, it was a sunday and there was not a vet availablle. I have an appointment today at three. I am not a moron and don't appreciate being talked to like one. If the med is causing stomach ulcers than why wouldn't you stop the drug right away? You would continue to aggravate the situation till she is "weaned" off of them? When people stop taking steroids they are not "weaned off of them" I've had steroid shots. You get one and that's it. My cat is 17 going on 18 and she will get whatever it takes to keep her alive. The information I've read online, is that it is ok for senior cats to take steroids, and they have a high tolerance of them. They do wonders for my girl, but if the result is a bleeding ulcer, than obviously we have to find something else. Thank you for your concern, but it would be better appreciated if it was conveyed in a more respectful way.
post #7 of 11
Steroid shots are not the same as being put on a course of pred. They can be given individually. My cat was also once on pred - I consulted 4 different vets about it and every one of them stressed that it was not a drug that can be discontinued and re-started randomly. You know that cats do not always react to drugs in the same way that people do.

It is ok for some senior cats to take steroids - it is of course dependent on what their condition is and what ails them - I never said otherwise. In some situations corticosteroids can be very helpful, but they are serious drugs and they need to be used correctly, especially since they affect the adrenal glands and do come with side effects.

You've expressed dissatisfaction with your vet - my ire was also directed at him, since it's his job to explain the proper use of meds, as well as to listen to what you tell him.

I believe you misunderstood the urgency of my message to you as berating YOU, which I certainly wasn't. My primary concern frankly, was your cat's health.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
We went to the vet and had fluids intravenously and subcutaneously. we are taking carafate and something to decrease acid in the stomach. No food until tomorrow morning, providing no vomiting before then. Then very bland food, small amount every 4 hours. More hydration later in the week. Blood work and xraYS were done. Sees a tumour on the lungs. Nothing in the stomach. The astma was not evident this time? Sooo, we will fix the stomach and take it from there.
post #9 of 11
Your poor baby. She's been through so much. The hydration should make her feel much better, though, and hopefully the meds for her stomach will help too.

The blood work may offer some clues - elevated liver and/or kidney values can make a kitty feel miserable.

I hope the vet is wrong about what looks like a tumor...keeping fingers crossed for your kitty. Please let us know how she's doing.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Mozel is doing well, she ate, she pooed, her blood work is consistant with her problem, nothing else out of line. I mamad at both my vets though. My regular vet dismissed my concerns over blood in her vomit until I took it to him. then he claimed wasn't aware that that was going on, claims there must be something else wrong, can't treat for an ulcer cause cats don't get ulcers. I think he was so pissy because he knows dam well I told him about it, he just didn't believe me, thought I was being a hyperchondriac, I don't know, but he said he couldn't treat for ulceration without an ultra sound first. So I went to vet B who agreed the most likely scenario was bleeding from the steroids and approached it accordingly. Of course this guy is a major price gouger, or completely oblivious to peoples concerns over money (but considering he is in business, I don't think so). Example, he took one xray and then comes in the room tells me he sees something suspicious he is going to take more xrays. In my stupor of concern, I go ok. $77.00 later he says she has a tumor of the lung which has no bearing whatsoever on her stomach treatment. Did that knowledge mean a hill of beans to me? no. It did not affect my direction, nor are we going to do anything about it. Had he asked me instead of told me he wanted to confirm his suspicions, I would have declined. His suspicion was good enough for me. It made no differnce. IT really pissed me off. I spent $425.00. He even charges .35 for a needle for the fluids she probably won't be needing. It really pissed me off. So now I can't trust my $conservative vet to make the right call, and I can't trust the young yuppy vet to not take me to the cleaners. I am glad Mozel seems to be pulling through, but I don't know where I stand with these vets.
post #11 of 11
WOW! In that case I would get a different vet If one does'nt listen to your concerns about your kitty's health, and the other one charges you for breathing in his office. I know it's strssful changing vets, especially when your kitty has a history with illnesses, but I don't like the sound of either of those vets. I also agree with KTLynn, you might need the help of a specialist- which of course will be costly, but they are experts and have more experience dealing with specific needs. I hope your kitty continues to improve, good luck
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