5 year old cat at death's door. Vets don't know why.

KelseyKatz

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My cat is inside only, always has been. He's 5 years old and has always been a very sweet friendly cat towards everyone including the vets. He was a model cat at the vet. Now, he's suddenly become skittish, antisocial, hissing, swiping and biting. We noticed he started hacking, gagging, coughing? He seems to want to retch, a few times it was clear liquid now nothing. Saturday he was in the ER for 9 hours. Vet said he's aggressive and had to sedate him twice. They did everything you could possibly imagine minus an ultrasound because the girl is on vacation for 3 weeks. X-ray showed the throat fine, lungs fine, heart fine, intestines fine. Only thing they noticed was in his lower spine he has arthritis. I took him home that night and he ate like I've never seen a cat eat. He ate two whole cans of wet food and 3 scoops of cat food in one sitting plus tub water. Next day, Sunday, he didn't eat or drink. Monday he ate only a little kibble no water. When he does eat kibble, as he's eating he hacks and food comes out then he heads back into the closet. The ER vet was frustrated because she said this is a very sick cat and he's in a lot of pain but the blood panels, x-rays show everything is perfectly fine and healthy but he's anything but. She's certain there's definitely something very wrong so she said the next thing we need to do is an ultrasound which I'm taking him elsewhere tomorrow.

Has anyone dealt with something like this before or have an idea what this could be? Thank you.
 

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KelseyKatz

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Picture was a few weeks ago before he got sick.
 
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KelseyKatz

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Oh and he's lost two pounds. They checked for everything possible that the new kitten may have brought in but he and the kitten tested negative for everything. Thank goodness.
 
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KelseyKatz

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I know you mention blood panel, but did they check for hyperthyroidism? When I read it, that was the first thing that came to mind but I figure it would also be the first thing the vet checked.
Oh my goodness. You may have hit the nail on the head! I do not know if she checked for that. He does have an enlarged mass a little bit bigger than a pea on the front right side of his neck. And his coat is always greasy. I will absolutely mention this tomorrow at his ultrasound.
 

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Oh my goodness. You may have hit the nail on the head! I do not know if she checked for that. He does have an enlarged mass a little bit bigger than a pea on the front right side of his neck. And his coat is always greasy. I will absolutely mention this tomorrow at his ultrasound.
It really does sound like hallmark hyperthyroidism with the mass on neck and grooming issues added on. I hope it's that simple because it is fairly treatable.

I'd second having another vet review his records/tests. Sometimes a vet just misses something that another catches. It really isn't a reflection on the quality of the vet or knowledge, there is just a lot to know and some vets have different focuses so they draw different conclusions. I had someone telling me my cat likely had FIP because he (apparently) is so dramatic and they ruled "everything else out" but my second opinion said he was just constipated and sure enough an enema solved the problem.
 
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Hi. I would definitely check to see about the thyroid - they would have drawn just an additional small amount of his blood to determine his T4 level. He is young for hyperthyroidism to set in, but given the mass on his neck, I would imagine the vet already ran the T4 test.

I would also get clarification on the extent of his arthritis and see if the vet wants him to begin receiving chondroitin, glucosamine, green lipped muscles, or a combination of these supplements. There could be something that triggered additional aggravation/irritation of the arthritis in his spine and would more than likely cause pain. He might even need some anti-inflammatories if there were to be some sort of aggravation that has caused some swelling. It's just another thing to ask about.

In regard to the eating he did after the vet visit - it is highly possible he is doing what Feeby does after a vet check up - it's called consolation eating, and she eats a boat load of food every time she comes home from the vet's office.

Keep us posted!
 
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KelseyKatz

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Hi. I would definitely check to see about the thyroid - they would have drawn just an additional small amount of his blood to determine his T4 level. He is young for hyperthyroidism to set in, but given the mass on his neck, I would imagine the vet already ran the T4 test.

I would also get clarification on the extent of his arthritis and see if the vet wants him to begin receiving chondroitin, glucosamine, green lipped muscles, or a combination of these supplements. There could be something that triggered additional aggravation/irritation of the arthritis in his spine and would more than likely cause pain. He might even need some anti-inflammatories if there were to be some sort of aggravation that has caused some swelling. It's just another thing to ask about.

In regard to the eating he did after the vet visit - it is highly possible he is doing what Feeby does after a vet check up - it's called consolation eating, and she eats a boat load of food every time she comes home from the vet's office.

Keep us posted!
So I'm at the vet closest to my house. They're very thorough and have seen Frank before. They just finished the ultrasound. Checked everything. She, like the ER vet is baffled. She says the ultrasound was great! Checked all organs, very healthy, better than last year. She is so frustrated and confused too! They are doing a blood panel now and checking his T4 levels. She says let's start him on steroids, see how that goes and continue to give him gabapentin.
 
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KelseyKatz

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Okay, thyroid came back normal. So everything has been ruled out. His degenerative disc is just causing him tremendous pain. She compared it to sciatic nerve. She gave him a steroid injection yesterday and it seems to have helped quite a bit but he does have liquid diarrhea from it unfortunately.

I purchased the Assisi Loop from the vet. She highly recommended it to use at home for pain management and to calm the inflammation. I hope it works.
 

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Arthritis pain can be debilitating. My boy has really bad arthritis in a leg and when he's off his meds he is much more subdued. I could see pain causing all the symptoms since everything else is normal. Hopefully the treatment path you are going down shows benefit.

I am curious how the loop works. I don't know if my boy would tolerate it but I've heard good things.
 

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The Loop did seem to help Krista's arthritis that first month that she let me use it on her multiple times a day. But while neither customer support nor Krista could confirm it for me, it seemed like the Loop might have been having an effect on her IBD too. And not necessarily a good one. Krista would have stomach gurgling and the occasional loose stool. But she also had a lot going on regardless of the Loop. We can't be certain that the Loop was to blame. The Loop must have also felt funny to her. I would put it on her, and before a full cycle was done, she would get up and walk out from underneath it. If I followed her and put it on her again, she would walk out from underneath it once more. I taped a Loop underneath a tree of hers. But that just meant she was climbing out of that tree before the treatment was done. Customer support told me that while full cycles are ideal, partial cycles can be helpful too. I would say my experience with the Loop was inconclusive. I think it could be beneficial if your cat will sit through full cycles. But you also must understand that the most famous Loop testimonial, Lil Bub, it took months and months of consistent treatment to achieve those results. I would put the Loop in the "might help, probably won't hurt" category. Good luck!
 

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The evidence for PEMF devices has always been pretty inconsistent and equivocal. This evidence-based medicine vet blog goes over the most recent review conclusions.
 
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KelseyKatz

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Hello!

I bought a CBD+CBDa oil for my cat Frank who has crippling pain from his degenerative disc. I decided on this company called ElleVetSciences because they were the only ones I found with both CBD and CBDa in the formula. I read CBDa is the best CBD for pain management. I will share the link here.

CBD Oil for Cats | ElleVet Sciences

The next one I purchased was T-Relief Arnica+12. The +12 is 12 other natural plant pain killers. Link here.

MEDINATURA T-Relief Arnica +12 Homeopathic Medicine for Pain for Cats, Dogs & Horses, 90-count - Chewy.com

I'm hoping I can combine the ElleVet oil and the T-Relief to give him some comfort. I also purchased the Assisi Loop which sends out electromagnetic waves to calm down inflammation and reduce pain.

Does anyone have experience with cats who have arthritis/IVDD?
 

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My boy has arthritis, he's 7 and it stems from a bad leg break when he was 2-3 years old. The arthritis was already advanced by the time he was 4. The last few years I've been giving him CBD oil to help manage his pain. I believe it works and can visibly see the difference between when he is and is not on the CBD. I give the smallest dose possible to ensure he doesn't build up a tolerance or have negative side effects (due to limited knowledge about it and my boys younger age). I also will occasionally stop it when he is either sick or seems to be having less pain (sick because it does interact with other medications and less pain because of the tolerance concerns).

To figure out dosage, I started at the lowest dose I could (well below manufacturer recommendation). Then I slowly increased the dose until I saw an impact (he could jump on chairs, was more active, didn't have any noticable pain signs, etc). When it's colder out, I increase his dose in accordance to his behavior. It does take a lot of management but with the limited research I just don't want to overdo it on accident.

I did try CBD with trace THC (I live where it is legal without a perscription) but even within documented safe bounds for cats my boy had trouble. Which isn't surprising since he doesn't handle traditional pain medications well. I have heard of the other two you mention, I would be cautious combining anything with CBD since it is known to interact with other medications. You also should talk to your vet or a holistic vet. I do know some vets are hesitant or not allowed by local laws to talk about CBD, so it may vary. My vet does know and we have purely hypothetical discussions about it. In your position, I would start with just one and slowly add the others if you need to. Partially because if you do everything you won't know what really is helping and what is just extra without benefit. Partially because I am not a fan of overmedicating personally.
 

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Adding in, I personally like transparency. The company you linked for CBD, I can't find where they grow their CBD, where it is processed or what testing they do to validate dosage. It does make me a little leery that they don't even easily list the carrier oil.

I personally prefer companies that have lab testing and list where they grow their product.
 

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The second product states it's homeopathic, which means it is literally (supposed to be) water. Homeopathy does not work. End of story. No reputable company markets homeopathic products; either they themselves buy into pseudoscience, or they are scamming people who do (or who aren't aware of what homeopathy is). Furthermore, this company was actually warned by the FDA for having dangerous levels of strychnine and mercury, ingredients that are supposed to be diluted into oblivion per homeopathy's stupid gimmick, but apparently the manufacturing QC was so poor they weren't diluting it enough.
 
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KelseyKatz

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The second product states it's homeopathic, which means it is literally (supposed to be) water. Homeopathy does not work. End of story. No reputable company markets homeopathic products; either they themselves buy into pseudoscience, or they are scamming people who do (or who aren't aware of what homeopathy is). Furthermore, this company was actually warned by the FDA for having dangerous levels of strychnine and mercury, ingredients that are supposed to be diluted into oblivion per homeopathy's stupid gimmick, but apparently the manufacturing QC was so poor they weren't diluting it enough.
Oh my goodness!! Are you talking about ElleVet?! I'm throwing that away!!
 
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