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Vibes for Stumpy please! - Page 3

post #61 of 101
Aaah the emotional rollercoaster-I hate that ride! I have been on that one far too mant times in the last week and am still on it- I am sorry for the both of you. Have you tried a product called pill pockets? They are a soft treat with a hole in the middle to place the pill in, then it self seals and your cat thinks it's a treat and not the meds. Melody used to be on a ton of medicine-liquid used to work better but then she caught on and it turned hellacious. After discovering pill pockets I will NEVER use a liquid medicine again. I give her a few "decoy" treats and then the one with the pill in it and I have never had pill giving go easier. Give them a try, they are found here in Colorado through your vet,Petsmarts and some local smaller pet boutiques. If you can not find any I would also be more than happy to mail some to you.
post #62 of 101
Aww, Amy, that sucks! I hope the ride levels out soon, and your sweet boy rallies. Lotsa vibes to all of you.
post #63 of 101
Originally Posted by rapunzel47
Aww, Amy, that sucks! I hope the ride levels out soon, and your sweet boy rallies. Lotsa vibes to all of you.
I second Fran's thoughts.
post #64 of 101
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by kittycorner
Have you tried a product called pill pockets? They are a soft treat with a hole in the middle to place the pill in, then it self seals and your cat thinks it's a treat and not the meds.
I know about those and can get them here. It's worth a try (everything is worth a try right now).

And with my stubborn boy, there is always a but.....he is also VERY particular about what treats he eats, and when his mouth is feeling bad, he is even rejecting treats. We know that he is feeling particularly bad when he rejects deli meats from hubby - he loves them (particularly ham) and rejecting them is our real barometer on how he is feeling. I know, deli ham isn't good for a cat, but when they are losing weight and not eating, any food is better than none.
post #65 of 101
Amy, suppose you or Steve asked the vet to show you how to give injections? It's much, much easier than liquids or pills. My DH is an RN, so can obviously give shots, but I took a home nursing course in order to "qualify", in part because our former feral had to have shots, and he wouldn't let Robert get close enough to him. Administering a subcutaneous injection is a lot easier than it sounds, and the cats don't seem to notice as much as you'd think.
post #66 of 101
Amy, I feel so bad that you, your hubby, & Stumpy are going thru this. I understand how frustrating it is, too, trying your best to do what has to be done for your little one while they think you're just being mean to them. I do hope your sweet boy improves soon.
And jcat is right--giving a cat an injection is difficult at all. wouldn't hurt to ask your vet about it.
post #67 of 101
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jcat
Amy, suppose you or Steve asked the vet to show you how to give injections?
I've given subq fluids before and could easily do an injection. It has crossed my mind to go that path if we continue to fail at slipping his meds into his food.

I'm going to reach out to a cat specialist (hopefully tomorrow) to talk about long term prognosis. I have a friend that was going to adopt a cat that had this problem and had all of her teeth removed (an option if you can't beat the infection). There's such limited information out there about what are possible treatments and the prognosis with those treatments. I don't believe in keeping a cat around long term if their life is nothing but pain. I guess I'm calmer today and beginning to think things through more thoroughly. And yes, I'm a bit rambly right now, but at least my mind is forming around options, not just panicking about his diagnosis.
post #68 of 101
Thread Starter 
Heard from the specialist today. My concerns were around treatment options and prognosis from those options. The biggest concern was about having all of his teeth pulled to stop the infection process.

Basically (and of course she didn't see Stumpy so this is a generality on how the disease goes and how treatments work): It is all about pain control. He will be in pain for the rest of his life if not controlled. She suggested not going the liquid or pill med route, unless we can effectively give it to him thru his food. Dosing his mouth directly only adds to his pain. She suggested going down the Depo injection - they take a while to bring relief but eventually she gets cats on a once a month to once every 3 month regime. The key to pain management is to be able to identify the signs that pain is impending, and get him for a shot before the pain becomes severe.

She also suggested to have his teeth pulled. With this disease, his teeth are what goes against him - almost as if he is allergic to his own teeth - causing bacterial infections, increasing the pain, and becomes a visious circle. The recommendation is to go the 2 week antibiotic route as we are doing right now, and if the infection doesn't clear up, and in her experience it doesn't do that very often, then pull all his teeth but possible leave his canines.

Of course my concern is alpha cat in a 12 cat household without teeth - will he behaviorally change to the point that he loses status and gets attacked by the others (e.g. they sense his illness and go after the sick cat). She has not seen this, and in fact once the teeth are gone and the infections cleared up, while they still have pain, they are otherwise healthier. Actually less conflict in the house than with sick cat with teeth.

Long term prognosis? If we can't get the infection under control, it is probably best to put his down as the pain is much higher during the infection period. If we can get it under control, she has treated cats that got the disease at about 10 years old and lived to be 18, and that without teeth. And these cats are on monthly Depo shots for years.

So she shared a lot of generalities, but helped my doubts at least about the teeth pulling route, and armed me with questions to take back to my vet as we progress thru this crisis. It's just difficult having just changed vets with my recent move and I don't yet have the experience with her to know her style of handling problems. The specialist insights were very helpful right now.

There is hope!
post #69 of 101
You articulated what the specialist told you really well.
It sounds like there is hope for Stumpy.
When do you see Stumpy's new vet, for her feedback about what the specialist told you?
post #70 of 101
Thread Starter 
I actually have to go up there in the morning to get more Clavamox pills. She only gave us a handful to see if we could hide them in his food. We've done very well there thus far. At the end of the clavamox (another 10 days), I'll bring him back in for another exam (vet visit #6) and talk about next steps for him.

I warned her that I'm one to do research and talk to specialists. Since she's not gone thru an illness with my kids, she's not seen that side of me and I have no idea how she will react. My last vet used to get slightly threatened, but ended up teasing me that I know more about some diseases than he did. I suspect this woman will welcome open discussion - just strikes me that way.
post #71 of 101
Fingers crossed that the specialist can help him, and I do hope that it can be controlled, but you seem to be caring enough not to keep him going for you if he is going to be in considerable pain most of his life. I dont know about behaviourally, but from an eating/general living point of view, cats are fine with no teeth - I have had two toothless cats now, and both managed to eat the same kind of food - Ginger is the only one in my house who will eat raw meat, and he has to have his supper biscuits.
post #72 of 101
Amy, you're handling this so well. Bless you, little Stumpy, please be well.
post #73 of 101
I'm one of those people that does loads of research, too, Amy. I figure the more you know, the better prepared you are to handle whatever may come your way. I think you're a wonderful cat Meowmy.
that Stumpy can find his way thru this. Hang in there, little man
post #74 of 101
Thread Starter 
And I almost forgot about something that I had thought to be irrelevant for years. In a big "hmmmmm" moment, I remembered that Stumpy had been sick before, in fact for about 6 years straight. When he was about 2 years old, he lost most of the hair on his torso, back and stomach from his shoulders to his tail. We did various skin scrapes and sent them off for biopsies and we never found anything wrong with him. There were no scabs and he never scratched so he was not uncomfortable with it. Since we couldn't locate the cause, and he wasn't uncomfortable, we chalked it up to allergies. Stumpy absolutely loves dogs, and exactly 1 week after our girl Ellie Mae (knee high brown dog) died, his hair started to grow back and he's never lost it since. So, he was allergic to the dog.

How does this relate? That long term allergy is a clear indicator that he has almost always suffered from some level of immunodeficiency. Now that the skin allergy is gone, it's turned to his teeth. The specialist doesn't think it was the move that did it, that it was in his genetics and now that he's turned 10, he's ripe for the disease to show its face.

The big aha moment for me and a lesson for anyone that is reading this. Don't underplay allergies, even if there is no discomfort. They may be indications of some deeper problem. Not that you can do anything to prevent it, but to become aware of potential problems later in life.
post #75 of 101
You really did have a light bulb moment.

I was told by my doctor that in humans, there are over 100 types of Arthritis and of course we are subject to all kinds of allergies.
Systemic inflammation results from both of those immune diseases.
You conclusion about what is happening with Stumpy makes sense.

Because you are not passive and you educate yourself about your Stumpy's illness...he has best chance for a good outcome.
If I were a vet...you are the kind of client I would want.

I'll be watching for your updates.
post #76 of 101
Thread Starter 
Just an update. We got Stumpy thru his meds OK then late last week we noticed that he started eating less and his hair was beginning to get a little scruffy again. He was about 3 weeks from his last depo shot when this started. We got him back to the vets for another shot and he perked up again, started eating like a little pig and playing like a madman.

So we're on a 3 week schedule for depo shots that hopefully we can start pushing further and further apart. We can clearly recognize the signs of when the shots start to wear off and know to simply get him in for another before he takes too far of a backslide. And yes, he will be on some type of steroid for the rest of his life.

So he's gained about 1/2 pound back and we're starting to get the med routine understood. He's been so playful since he's feeling better that my husband has said "glad to see our Stumpy is back".

Here's hoping that we can keep this up for many years to come.
post #77 of 101
So glad to hear Stumpy seems to be back to his old self.
post #78 of 101
I'm so glad to hear that he's getting back to his usual self - Good luck Stumpy.
post #79 of 101
Good to hear he responded well to the medication and gained some weight back.
post #80 of 101
Thread Starter 
We switched Stumpy from the depo shots to prednilsone a few months back. Last week he stopped eating and started to drool again. So we've switched him back to depo. Within 5 minutes of the shot and on the drive back home, he was already feeling better.

Looks like depo indefinitely until such time that it stops working. Then it is teeth extraction time. We're just buying more time with the depo.

I hate it when cats get chronic diseases! *sigh*
post #81 of 101
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all that are responding to my recent teeth pulling vibes for Stumpy. To keep a history going in this thread, Stumpy's right and front teeth are being pulled this Monday. He's in severe pain and medications cannot help him anymore. The only way to relieve his pain right now is to remove his teeth or euthanize. We're opting for the teeth.
post #82 of 101
I have no doubt that you have made the right decision for Stumpy.
I have heard that cats do fine without their teeth.

I will be thinking of your precious boy on Monday & sending vibes for a quick recovery.
post #83 of 101
Poor little man! I agree that you've made the right decision for Stumpy. Lots of cats do just fine without teeth. He'll adapt. Sending good thoughts your way that all goes well with his surgery.
post #84 of 101
Fingers crossed for him - are the vets going to do pre-anaesthetic bloods and put him on a drip? Cats can do fine without their teeth, the only thing you will have to watch really is grooming - but I have had 2 completely toothless cats, and both have managed to eat wet and dry, and Ginger even managed raw meat as long as it was cut up small enough.
post #85 of 101
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by booktigger View Post
Fingers crossed for him - are the vets going to do pre-anaesthetic bloods and put him on a drip? Cats can do fine without their teeth, the only thing you will have to watch really is grooming
Honestly, we didn't talk specifically thru the procedure on Monday. I was a little wiggy when we made the decision on Thursday but also trust my vet - she does a lot of dentals surgeries.

We're already having to groom him. He's been fairly greasy since this all began so that routine shouldn't change for us. He's short hair and his coat responds well to a good brushing with an occasional wet wipe.
post #86 of 101
***hugs*** for stumpy and for you
post #87 of 101
Hugs and easy dental surgery vibes for Stumpy. I hope this helps relieve his pain and all the other problems he has had.
post #88 of 101
Major dental vibes for Stumpy!
post #89 of 101
Thread Starter 
Stumpy's surgery was done by about 10:30 this morning and we picked him up around 4. They removed the IV when we picked him up so he still has a cute little bandage on his arm.

They removed less teeth than they thought they needed to. He still has his left side teeth and 3 of the 4 canines - the other front teeth were removed. He lost the 4th canine many years ago and we never knew how he managed to do that.

You can tell he's still fairly groggy, but he was hungry and ate a bit of canned food. He's on pain medication for the next 5 days, pred every other day for life and antibiotics for a week a month for the rest of his life.

All he wanted when he got home was to be with his dogs. He was anxious for the first 30 minutes or so when hubby wouldn't let him with the other animals, but then we realized he would relax if his puppies were with him. A few hours later we let loose the rest of the cats and no problems with any of them. Spanky even sat next him for a while as if to guard him from the other cats (the strange vet smell can trigger attacks).

We are going to settle down on the sofa and let him come snuggle with us. Try to get the bandage off soon as its beginning to bother him.

I personally think he's going to wake up in the morning feeling like crap. We'll have the pain meds ready to go for breakfast. I hate to see my babies feeling like this!!

Thanks for all the vibes. We'll see in the next few months if this treatment has been successful.
post #90 of 101
I am so glad that Stumpy came though his surgery and is recovering at home where he is happy.
I will keep him in my thoughts and am sending him lots of healing vibes for a quick recovery.
Keep us updated about his progress.

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