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Old 01-26-2012, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
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I'm getting very worried about our Charlie. We adopted her as an adult when she was abandoned at our vet's by her previous owner, so we aren't sure how old she is... but she's at least 6 or 7.

We live in the bush, 3+ hours from town and the nearest vet; so I'm trying to determine if this is serious enough for me to risk the snowy mountain roads with her in winter and subject her to the traumatic car ride to take her in.

She is primarily an indoor cat, although she did get out and roam a bit this summer, but not since September. She's had all her shots. She did get attacked by something outside summer and had an infected bite on the back of her leg that we cleaned up and it healed... afterward she didn't show any signs that it was bothering her, no apparent lingering effects.

A couple days ago, she became lethargic and lost her appetite. We've been giving her fresh, clean water and she seems to be drinking as much as previously, although I think that her drinking may have been slowly increasing over the last several months if I really think about it.

Two days ago, she was limping but we couldn't find any injury. It cleared up the next day, so maybe she just landed funny jumping on/off the bed.

However, today, she has been passing gooey bloody stools that are mostly mucous. I checked the litter locker, and noticed another from earlier. There were only a couple of small, firm movements from earlier this week... less than normal, but I ascribed that to her loss of appetite.

I don't think she could have eaten anything in the house that is poisonous since nothing like that is open. Our dog isn't sick. I've got a touch of a cold, but otherwise DH & I aren't sick. We do heat with wood, so there is a possibility she got into something from there.

We haven't changed her food recently, we feed Natural Balance and Wellness wet, and Wellness Core Fish & Fowl dry. She gets occasional people snacks... but only a nibble of ham or cheese not large amounts (she's not even interested in those currently). I did just change her litter... we were using Shweat clumping, but she started peeing outside the box. I changed her to a wood shaving litter, and then back to clumping clay litter and the potty aversion seemed to stop.

Reading online is a bit scary and not really that helpful -- it could be anything from an infection or worms to a broken pelvis to colon cancer.

We normally go into the village on Friday's and I could call the vet from the payphone... or I could bundle her up and head straight into town at first light as long as the temps are high enough and the weather looks decent.

Any advice?
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:54 PM
 
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Has she eaten at all in the last two days? This is very important as cats can go into liver failure quickly if they don't eat for a couple of days, or eat much less than they should for several days. It is easily treated by force-feeding, but fatal if untreated.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Monadnock region
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alaskan bush, I can understand your reluctance. luckily tomorrow is friday! I would bundle her up and take her in tomorrow. if there's been no food change, but her stool has changed like that.. something is wrong! whether there's something gone funky in the food container...? or she's just turned sensitive to it, a gooey bloody stool is NOT normal. and loss of appetite that persists can lead to rapid weight loss and liver issues - aside from it being a symptom that something is wrong. and particularly if it has persisted for a few days.... good thing you go into the village on fridays - which is tomorrow.

hope they get her fixed up! please let us know.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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This sounds to me like something worth taking her in and probably having some lab work. I know that is a big chore from out where you are. But it seems like you have a significant number of things noticed: loss of appetite, blood in stool, possible increased thirst over time. I would think some tests are in order. Blood in stool is almost always something that needs checking in any animal as far as I know.

I really don't know if it's possible for any of that to be connected with what happened outside in the summer or not. My hunch is not, but I don't have any vet training or any experience with that sort of thing. If she's really only 6 or 7 she may be a little young for some of the common diseases, but sometimes they happen earlier in some cats than others. Increased thirst and decreased appetite remind me of the kidney disease symptoms we saw in one cat, but this is far from the only thing it could be, and we never saw stools like that.

Keep in mind that your cat instinctively hides any sign of pain or weakness. When you actually see it, like the limping, it REALLY hurts. The fact that she had a leg issue, and you just saw her limping, may be related or not, but it's certainly worth finding out.

And she really needs to eat.

Good luck to you. Hope you have some good weather. I know it's traumatic for the kitty, and certainly don't go if it's not safe, but I think it's worth going even given your remoteness. Please let us know what happens if you can.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
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She has eaten a few nibbles of wet food at each sitting - a couple teaspoons all total. However, she doesn't seem to have even nibbled at her food today and I'm considering trying the chicken pate she loves with a little dry milk powder mixed in to see if I can tempt her with that even though she ignored the bits of cheese I offered her last night. I'm also considering adding some electrolyte to her water. Right now, she won't leave the bed and doesn't seem to even want company

We'd have to take her into town tomorrow (3+ hours) since the village (30 minutes) doesn't have a people doc much less an animal doc. The best I could from the village is be able to call our vet in town (no phone out here). Unfortunately, the temps are dropping again, and it's already -40 now that the sun is down... the truck may not run tomorrow for us even to get into the village to use the phone. The mail plane may not even come tomorrow unless it warms up, so I wouldn't even have the option of hopping a flight into town with them.

I really wish my vet had email right about now!! He always sees our kids whenever we cat into town regardless of time or appointments, but it isn't easy to contact him when we aren't in town where our cell phone works.

The last time we had a critical kitty emergency out here (when Celine had a massive stroke), we had to go with the 9mm solution and I *really* don't think I'm ready for that again

I'm so upset... she was fine only a few days ago
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
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Our Odin developed CRF and diabetes and had to be put to sleep shortly before we moved up here, so I've been super-conscious of high-quality food and drinking/peeing behavior since.

Hopefully, I can get her to eat some milky chicken paste... or anything... and that it doesn't get as cold as it seems to be heading tonight.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:00 PM
 
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Here's hoping the weather improves, and you'll find something she will eat. All fingers and paws are crossed for you here.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
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She ignored the chicken paste, even when I dabbed a bit on her nose. Normally she is a velcro kitty when I open a can of it, so that's not a good sign. I'll try again after dinner with some leftover ham, and if that doesn't work I'll go for broke with some of the really stinky sardines that usually make her insane.

We talked with our friend who works for the DoT... he says the road is open (at least the section he plows) but if the temps keep dropping and the wind picks up it's likely the drifts will cover the road and they won't be able to plow. So getting in tomorrow might not be an option, even if she does survive the night.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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She's obviously feeling poorly. I clearly couldn't say from here, but it doesn't quite sound to me like she's at not surviving the night level yet. Let's hope. They can turn quickly sometimes despite being observant, that I do know. There's only so much you can do at this point. Thinking logically like that won't make it much easier, though, I know. It's a waiting game seems like, at least until morning. Hang in there. I'm so sorry that there's nothing better or more calming I can think of writing here....
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
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My concern with her not making it through the night is more from liver shutdown because she hasn't eaten in over 24 hr than from whatever is at the root of the problem.

She refused the ham as well, and there was more blood in the litter box. I guess that I should take some comfort in the fact that she can at least still make it to the box; but I think I'm going to raise it up on folding chair next to the bed so she doesn't have to make the jump or go as far. Let her conserve her energy and reduce the risk of her hurting herself with the jump since she's weak and wobbly.

I'll keep checking on her and trying not to disturb her too much for the rest of the evening, then we can assess next steps when we get up in the morning.
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