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Health Advice on poorly kitty

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi Fellow cat lovers

Hello to you all, I’m a new member and enjoy reading this forum.
This is the first time I’m posting to the forum, unfortunately not under very happy circumstance. I would really like some advice from other cat lovers please. Sorry this is going to be a long post but I need to give you all the background.

I have a lovely sweet very affectionate old cat Missy. She is 14 and a teeny tiny little black and white moggy. I got her from the SPCA 5 years ago and have enjoyed every minute with her.

Since I got her she has always had tummy troubles and the vet put her on a special i/d prescription diet. He suspected it was her thyroid but said it wasn’t bad enough to put her on thyroid medication but something we should watch. She only weighs 3 kilograms and has a yearly check-up. The vet has always said she is okay but I must watch her weight and keep it up to 3kg.

My fiancé and I went on holiday recently for 3 weeks and left her with an excellent cat sitter. Unfortunately missy decided to stop eating. When we got back she had dropped down to 1.9 kg. This was on a Friday as I thought I’d take her to a vet on the Monday but cooked up some fish and chicken very bland but got her eating well.
By the following week she had already put on 500g so I thought she was fine.

A week later she had completely stopped eating again and dropped back down to 1.9 kg. I immediately took her to the vet. The vet I take her to is part of the university and is a teaching hospital so I have always thought it the best place to take her. They say they have no idea what is wrong with her. They gave her a booster shot of vitamins and put her on a drip. Did blood test and an ultrasound and have kept her overnight. Today they called me saying they have no idea what is wrong and want to open her stomach up to see what’s inside.

I really want to do the best thing I can for the cat. So my question is this, do I let them operate which seems such an invasive thing when they haven’t even tried any medication. Alternatively should I take her and get a second opinion. I do love my cat and want to do the best for her but am one of these people that do think putting animals through invasive procedures (or in one Friends case putting a dog through chemotherapy) is not fair on the animal. I’m not saying I want to ask them to put her down and that I think is jumping the gun but I either want a second opinion or want them to try something less invasive.

Have any of you had a cat in this position? Do you think in this instance I should let them do the investigate surgery bearing in mind she is 14 years old. Do any of you have any advice for me please I am really confused as to what I should do.

Thanks
post #2 of 14
I really don't want to be the barer of bad news but. If she goes through this surgery you also risk her body not being able to heal properly with her ammune system down. the weight loss is obviously from her body trying to focus on fixing itself where it's not working properly, be it an organ or a illness. adding another thing for the body to look after may put her life in jepordy and you may or may not see her again. the case could be she could have the surgery and in the middle of it might not make it and you don't get to say goodbye, or she could have the surgery and they feel its best not to wake her up because of how bad it is and you won't get to say goodbye, or she could have the surgery and be fine but then not survive the recovery and be in pain when she passes on. honestly as a nurse i really don't see it going well. i would hate to give you false hope if it ment you not getting to spend a little more time with her and her having her dignity.
honestly if it were my cat i would keep her home and happy maybe get a second opinion. if they feel the same then maybe have a home visit to let her rest and say goodbye with you.

I'm sure they have discussed these risks with you and you two will be in my prayers.

post #3 of 14
If she started losing weight while you were away, it sounds like stress. Maybe she's just settling down again after getting herself worked up?

If they've done lots of tests and found nothing, what are the odds that something is wrong?

Is it worth giving her more time, and lots of love and attention to see if that helps, then just take her back if she goes under the 1.9kg mark?
post #4 of 14
If it were one of mine,I'd get a second opinion. University hospitals are wonderful,but I've found they also like to be more invasive for the sake of teaching.
post #5 of 14
Did they re-run the thyroid test? It sounds like the ultrasound didn't show them anything, so I'm not sure what they would be likely to find in operating. I'm not against operating on an older kitty if its in their best interest, but it helps if they know what they are looking for. Had she lost the weight before she stopped eating? If the weight loss happened AFTER she stopped eating, I would focus on figuring out why she isn't eating. Mouth pain due to bad teeth is a common cause of inappetance in cats. Other times, they stop due to stress. Sometimes appetite stimulants can encourage them to eat again.

If she was losing weight before she stopped eating, I would insist that they retest the thyroid, including a free T4 test in addition to the regular T4 test. Sometimes one shows high values while the other one looks normal.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for you advice and kind words.
Just to update you.
My fiancé fetched Missy from the university hospital and took her straight to another recommended vet where he had made an appointment.
This vet took a close look at all the test results Nathan had collected from the university and said that the prognosis is not good. She also said that if Missy could talk, in her honest opinion she would not be asking for an invasive operation at this stage. However she did say that there is definitely an indication of a thyroid problem which cannot be the only cause of this particular very quick decline but is one factor. She said that although she feels there is a slim chance she would like to try missy on 72 hours of very high dosage antibiotics because it is likely that this is a stomach infection.
She said that missy would be in no discomfort for the 72 hours, which although missy is very ill she feels that she is not in actual pain.
So Nathan armed with Missy, a super kitty energy drink, thyroid medication and antibiotics brought missy home. Where worst case scenario she gets lots of love and cuddles for 72 hours and we get to say goodbye and best case scenario shows some improvement. On the vets advice we’ve boiled up some chicken and are trying to encourage her to eat small bits, and she did take a mouthful this morning. My mom in law is over to spend the day with her and will try seeing if she will take a few nibbles during the day. Again I’m trying not to pin too much hope on this but feel better for giving her a chance and getting a second opinion.

One good thing is that she has never stressed about going to the vet she thinks the more people in the examining room the more important she is and can't get around to chat to all of the quick enough.

Thanks
post #7 of 14
Best of luck,Missy! And prayers to you and your family! Please keep us posted!
post #8 of 14
Please don't give up on her too soon. It could take more than 72 hours to see improvement as her body adapts to the thyroid medication. There was a time when I thought I would lose Spot. He had had I-131 but it wasn't working. He had been off of the methimazole for about 2 months, and he was down to about 7 pounds from 11 pounds (3.2 kg from 5 kg)--he was supposed to be a big kitty but he was all skin and bones. He was so miserable and so hot, as it was August and we didn't have air conditioning. We put him back on the medication, and he gained back 2.5 pounds over the next few months. He was loving as always and didn't show any signs of pain. If his test show thyroid trouble, please give the medicine time to work.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
No I will not give up on my Missy without a fight.
I’ve been hand feeding her teeny bits of boiled chicken and last night she had a few bites and also a few sips of the cat energy drink the vet gave us. We have also managed to get the medication down. She is not alone as my mother in law is with her during the day at the moment and trying to get her to eat a bit more chicken. It also means she has a lovely warm lap to sit on all day for comfort.
She has an appointment with the vet this evening for an assessment. I will only give up when the vet says that I am causing her stress.
post #10 of 14
Could they give her an x-ray or ultrasound too? Can't they do a stomach and intestine lining biopsy without "opening her up?" There's a big difference between a long incision and one for a laparoscopy (sp)... maybe that is what they meant? It would shock me if they didn't do this for cats.... surely someone out there, especially a vet university, would have the equipment and know-how.

I hope she feels better soon... poor baby! Give her some hugs for me. *sending vibes*
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
They did give her an ultrasound and said they found nothing and wanted to open up her stomach completely not just take a biopsy. This is what concerned us so much.
Thanks for the kind thoughts they have all helped.

Missy went for her check-up last night and I am crying tears of relief as I write this. The vet is amazed that she has put on 200g – she was only1900g so this is a lot.
She said she is not out of the woods yet but the signs are good. I can't believe this relief, I am so overjoyed. The vet is now convinced that it was a combination of the thyroid problem and a severe bacterial infection in her stomach or intestine. The combination is what caused the rapid decline. The vet did confide in me that she really didn’t think Missy would pull through and thought the antibiotic treatment would be a long shot but worth a try. She was also convinced that Missy wouldn’t survive an operation in her condition. I think my little old lady is a lot tougher than we all thought and clearly enjoys living with us. OR maybe she loves looking after us and is worried about what we’d do if she wasn’t around.

I am so happy and relived but really upset that the university hospital tied to persuade us to have her operated on. What makes me more upset is that Nathan and I considered having Missy put down instead of putting her through the operation and now we know that would have been for nothing. THANK GOD we went for a second opinion.

So as I sight a huge sigh of relief once again Thanks so much for all the kind words thoughts and vibes and also the very good and sound advice.

Love
Muppet and Missy
post #12 of 14
Aww, I do hope that this is the beginning of a good improvement for her.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppet View Post
They did give her an ultrasound and said they found nothing and wanted to open up her stomach completely not just take a biopsy. This is what concerned us so much.
Thanks for the kind thoughts they have all helped.

Missy went for her check-up last night and I am crying tears of relief as I write this. The vet is amazed that she has put on 200g – she was only1900g so this is a lot.
She said she is not out of the woods yet but the signs are good. I can't believe this relief, I am so overjoyed. The vet is now convinced that it was a combination of the thyroid problem and a severe bacterial infection in her stomach or intestine. The combination is what caused the rapid decline. The vet did confide in me that she really didn’t think Missy would pull through and thought the antibiotic treatment would be a long shot but worth a try. She was also convinced that Missy wouldn’t survive an operation in her condition. I think my little old lady is a lot tougher than we all thought and clearly enjoys living with us. OR maybe she loves looking after us and is worried about what we’d do if she wasn’t around.

I am so happy and relived but really upset that the university hospital tied to persuade us to have her operated on. What makes me more upset is that Nathan and I considered having Missy put down instead of putting her through the operation and now we know that would have been for nothing. THANK GOD we went for a second opinion.

So as I sight a huge sigh of relief once again Thanks so much for all the kind words thoughts and vibes and also the very good and sound advice.

Love
Muppet and Missy
that is soooo good to hear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! god bless lil Missy. she's very lucky to have such a nice loving family! once she's all better take a photo of her and the history write up of what was done and send it to the university hospital with a note saying... keep studying.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yes my fiancé is already planning on doing that. He's a bit more confrontational than I am and adores our little missy, so was very upset over all this.
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