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Old 09-24-2019, 01:45 PM
 
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My 15.5-year-old tortie girl, Nicki, seems not to be having any fun anymore...just wanted to throw it out and see if there is anything else I could be doing for her.


She has early chronic kidney disease (per the vet) and more to the point bad arthritis in her low back and front 'elbow.' Sometimes her limping is very noticeable and other times she seems to walk sort of okay, but always fairly slowly. I have carpeted stairs for her to get on and off bed, but lately she spends most of her time lying on the wooden bathroom floor. That seems counter-intuitive to me - I would think she'd like a softer place to rest -- but she spends most of her time there. She does change position pretty often, from one side to the other.



I am more concerned about her breathing. Not panting or mouth open at all, but on the quicker side, though not "fast fast." Her lower body gives almost a little jerk as she breathes...I have videoed her doing it.


She was at the vet for a checkup 2 weeks ago - vet pleased her bloodwork was good. We did start her on prednisolone solution - was 0.5ml 2x a day, then 1x a day and now every other day.



Nicki also is on daily gabapentin, Cosequin, Green Lipped Mussel and some Miralax. I have heard her making little grunt moan-y noises when she is trying to poop -- I am guessing that hurts her low back some. She is also gaining weight -- she wants to eat a LOT. She gets mostly canned food -- I like the saucy/gravy kind to help hide the powder meds.



She was getting a CBD treat from Holista Pets...when that ran out I tried a stronger one from a local store (all those CBD stores popping up all over the place) and she will walk away from it. I have to crush it very small to try to slip it by her. I may go back to the Holista treats - I whacked those with a hammer and mixed in her food. She does drink water pretty well - I always refresh it several times a day.



This is rambling I know...I just SO wish they could talk! The thing is, you don't know if any/all of this is making any difference -- or would she feel even worse? I do worry that life is just always painful for her.
A few weeks back I was wiping her dandruffy coat - it's not awful flaky but just wanted to try to wipe some off with a pet wipe) and maybe I used too much pressure on her low back/tailbone area, but she whipped around and bit me good -- all four canine marks on my arm. When we were at the vet's, the tech had a good hold on her while the vet was examining her and she was complaining/warning meows as the vet felt her back. So to me this all adds up to pain.

She is my heart cat of all the heart cats I have had...virtually all my online passwords have something to do with her :-) ....She used to make me laugh every day...but now she just sort of eats and rests, though she does still like to hang out where I am. I had to let Heart Cat #2 go in May...I am just not emotionally ready to possibly bid her goodbye as well. I did wait a bit too long to let him go, I think, and that bothers me.



Any other thoughts I what I might try for her? Thank you.
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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You're already doing quite a bit for her.

I'm wondering if the vet did a "senior" blood panel on her, which would include a thyroid test. Hyperthryoidism is common in older kitties, and it greatly increases appetite. However, they tend to LOSE weight, not gain.

Constipation is also common as the kidneys get older. Our old guy (19!) gets a tiny amount of Miralax for this. He will often poop outside of the box despite us trying everything. I chalk it up to him associating the box with straining/pain and he finds somewhere else to go. Know that she could start doing this too (enzymatic cleaner is our friend). You could try adding a very low sided box. We've tried this and he won't use it, and our other cats think it's a fun place to play.

I wish I had more to offer you. Old kitties sure are special and deserve lots of love and cuddles.
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:39 PM
 
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I sent my video of Nicki breathing to the vet and she watched it and called me back tonight. She is a bit worried too that this may mean a heart issue and possible fluid buildup. She agreed the breathing shouldn't be such an effort.

Nicki will get an Xray Thursday morning. A few possible medications were discussed.
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MISSOURI
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Keep us updated!
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:58 PM
 
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Poor old girl. I hate that old age is the reward(?) for a long life of being a friend and companion because it's so difficult to watch them go downhill. I hope Nicki's heart is OK.
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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Sweet kitty. It may just be Nicki ends up getting one more medication, a diuretic like Lasix (furosemide) or something else.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:23 AM
 
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Regarding the arthritis: You can ask your vet about adequan injections. These can be done at home subcutaneously after the initial series. You can also look into cold laser therapy.

However I do see now that there are other possibly more serious issues to be addressed. Not that chronic pain isn't a serious quality of life issue of course. Let us know how things go.
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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I'm very sorry she's having trouble breathing, but it's a smart idea to send your vet a video. Our late Tucker died from lung cancer and he had fluid build up and we did a chest tap. It took a LOT out of him (he was 16). If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't have done the chest tap and would have euthanized a couple of days sooner.

I'm not trying to scare you, but I guess I thought a chest tap was no big deal. It is more invasive procedure than I thought. Something to talk about with your vet should this come up.

FWIW, I agree with cats mom on the Adequan injections. Our Benny has been getting these for several years. They are easy to do yourself at home. I suggest checking pricing online because it can vary widely.
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:51 PM
 
1,354 posts, read 3,569,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
Sweet kitty. It may just be Nicki ends up getting one more medication, a diuretic like Lasix (furosemide) or something else.



Both Lasix and enalapril (sp?) were mentioned. The prednisolone would stop, in that case, I believe she said.


I did ask about Adequan - the owner of the veterinary practice (not my vet) does not have this office prescribe it. Apparently there was one bad case...we didn't get into a big discussion. I can ask again at the appointment.



Thanks everyone.
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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I have no advice; just good luck with helping your cat be as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. Hugs.
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