Bald spots, UTI, sassy young lady (the cat, not me)... I'm overwhelmed

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Hey guys.

So I posted this thread a couple weeks back about a stressful ordeal at a local vet's office. Short version is, we went in because she had scratched fur off her ear on Christmas day. We went to this feline only vet the day after, thinking regular vet was closed because no call back until we were driving to this guy. Anyway, I wish we never went. He ended up giving her a steroid and antibiotic shot and she did not react well once home... panting, aggressive, wild eyed. She pulled out hair and licked the area where she was injected bright red. Wound up being able to see her usual vet, small dose benadryl and later had follow up scheduled just to check in later all this.

Around 10 days after this experience, once she started acting more herselfI had noticed 1yr 9month yr old Echo was going to use litter box to pee 4-5 times a day when she usually goes 3, maybe 4 times. So at the follow up visit, I mention this along with how the past week had been going and that she seemed a bit lower energy still (I think it took like 12-15 days after the shots to really be normal self...). This visit is not good. Echo went from being fairly fine at vets office to being "hell no" and after that day with the shots, I don't blame her...but getting first blood draw to run some tests (I wanted to make sure her blood work was good because she had never had any) was a two person, neck scrunching, growling ordeal. I dread having to bring her back again in the future. She holds grudges indefinitely with people who have offended her. Anyway, regular vet and I agreed that I'd do home collection of a urine sample, which I delivered end of day. That was on Tuesday of last week. Called saturday before they closed and still no results yet on the culture to see if there was a definite bacterial infection and what kind antibiotics etc...They did see "some possible bacteria" in the in house urinalysis.

So in the meantime I read up on D Mannose and have given her some in food daily since I have these for myself, but I'm scared if it could harm her in any way. I saw dosages from this brand on Amazon and haven't been dosing that much, but have been giving less than 1 capsule spread out per day. Also 1tbs of pate mixed with a lot of water (tomato soup consistency) every few hours between breakfast and lunch to keep water filtering through her best I can. I have a chart where I keep track of daily pee/poo/energy scores etc each day.

I had been keeping her in a little doggo shirt to cover the bald spot so she doesnt keep licking her back raw. The regular vet said to put steroid cream on it, but I don't think it's so much itchy as it is she's grooming an area without full fur with a barbed tongue. And I don't want her licking the steroid cream. Today, took the shirt off to let her groom supervised...she's been pretty good about this in general...but today she refused to let me get it back on and attacked my hand when i tried to get her paw through the arm hole. I honestly cried. She did lick it "resurfaced" because there was little scabbing left, but not raw yet. But now I'm scared to leave her by herself. Or even sleep. I feel so in over my head with all this and simultaneously have a huge career event that I've invested thousands in to in just 16 days and my focus has barely been able to be on it -I've been so worried about her.... I'm venting here, but if anyone has advise I'd appreciate it. I'm calling vet first thing when they open to see if culture results are in and if a safe/appropriate antibiotic can help her.
 

moxiewild

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First, breathe - you’re doing great :)

You said both a culture and a urinalysis - these are two different things, do you know which was done or if it was both?

I ask because it sounds like a culture and sensitivity was done, and if that’s the case, I would request it be re-done via cystocentesis (needle through bladder, what s/he was trying to do initially). Results are not accurate when done free-catch because the moment urine leaves the bladder, contamination occurs.

You don’t want to dose unnecessary antibiotics, the wrong antibiotic, the wrong dosage, etc without accurate diagnostics to rely on.

The wrong antibiotic treatment can produce resistant bacteria, and all medications have potential negative side effects. The wrong treatment could make whatever the real issues are worse. You want to get this right.

It’s also worth noting that a C&S only takes about 3-4 days for results to come back. The fact that your vet has still not gotten back to you is very indicative that nothing serious developed. And/or, your vet is not as attentive as s/he should be...

Ask your vet about Gabapentin. Some cats need this long term, but I’ve had many who need it only for the vet. It’s common for vets to prescribe it for this specific purpose.

Go to the clinic in person to make your appointment, and request a single dose while you’re there. Give it to Echo 45-60 minutes prior to leaving for your appointment (sometimes they tell you 20-30 minutes prior, but I’ve often had cats where it doesn’t kick in until the ride home or arriving back home when I do that, so I usually do it an hour before take off now).

This should make Echo far more relaxed - a little sedated, in fact. She will therefore be easier to handle so cystocentesis can be performed, which in itself, purportedly does not hurt - most cats (if they react at all) are merely reacting to the handling/restraint (which gaba will help with immensely).

Alternatively - and this is what we do now for local vets and cats who are generally anxious or just anxious in cars/containment/at the vet - try to find a mobile vet in your area.

Some vets are strictly mobile, but some clinic vets also do house calls - ask your current vet if they offer that.

Otherwise Google or call around to other clinics to see if they offer house call service if you can’t find a dedicated mobile vet. You can always return to your regular vet after you receive the results.

In our area, it runs about the same price or very slightly more than the average in-clinic vet. It’s very worth it for anxious kitties (and doggies!).

But I would never trust a C&S done with free-catch urine, especially if the response to the results is antibiotics or any medication (unless the situation was dire).

You said she was stressed when you tried to put the shirt back on - does she seem stressed while wearing it?

The shirt is a well thought, intuitive move, but if grooming and potential urinary tract issues are being triggered by stress (VERY common), then the shirt might ultimately make matters worse.

I know you don’t want to see your kitty in pain - that much is very clear. But a little raw skin is highly unlikely to kill her, do significant damage, or cause significant pain short term.

You’re doing your due diligence to address this, so any pain or irritation will only be temporary. From what you’ve said, I’d probably be a little more concerned with creating as much of a stress free environment for her as possible until diagnostics can give you some more concrete answers as to what’s going on.

And a big part of that is going to be you getting your own stress levels in check.

I know, easier said than done! But cats do appear to pick up on our own “energy” and stress, which inherently signals to them that they, too, should be stressed.

Nothing so far about Echo’s situation seems particularly urgent. Better to be going pee a lot than not at all! And skin issues are very, very common.

You’re doing everything right! This is very unlikely to be life threatening, so just take a breath. It’s not urgent enough to rush through shoddy diagnostics and throw treatments at her haphazardly.

:alright: :vibes:
 

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My cat is one of the cats who get stressed too much at the vet and on the way that, every time we go there she gets a health issue afterward. Within the next 2 weeks usually. It's usually a dental flare-up for her as she already has dental issues. Not to say don't take her to the vet or anything, not to make a comment about it at all, just to say some of these health issues might be due to stress and not like it will always be like this.

Also about the skin issues, Hima had a wound last year once and another time another lesion the vet said "that was either fungus or an allergic reaction". Both times I tried to follow the instructions and put on the prescribed ointment as much as possible but Hima licked it off, licked off the fur... anyway, they both healed on their own. As long as you keep the area infection-free and if you see sign of abscess taking her to the vet, it should be fine. In our case it just took a long time to totally heal (over two months), that's all.
 
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Thank you for your reply Moxie
You said both a culture and a urinalysis - these are two different things, do you know which was done or if it was both?

I ask because it sounds like a culture and sensitivity was done, and if that’s the case, I would request it be re-done via cystocentesis (needle through bladder, what s/he was trying to do initially). Results are not accurate when done free-catch because the moment urine leaves the bladder, contamination occurs.

You don’t want to dose unnecessary antibiotics, the wrong antibiotic, the wrong dosage, etc without accurate diagnostics to rely on.
So when I dropped off the urine, it was just for a urinalysis. Then when I called for results of the blood work etc. the next day, was told blood tests they did looked fine (I plan to get them today to see for myself), the urine "may have some bacteria and vet recommends sending out for culturing", so I said yes send it -not realizing what you said about accurate cultures requiring the needle method. I have had UTIs, and when they culture mine its from a cup I go in. To collect Echo's urine, I sanitized her box, put in the nonabsorbent sand and collected it immediately with the sanitized syringe and vial they sent me home with...

And of course, my vet made no mention of whether or not these would be accurate results... I have had the worst experiences with vets this past year -to the end of killing our dog and she died a horrible death that could have been avoided with basic medical forethought...I have PTSD from that experience. I'm having such a hard time finding a vet I can trust. The last year, almost every visit has resulted in more harm than it has help. I'm at a loss.

I dont trust the vet who gave her the shots -because he lied about whether or not one was a steroid and later lied and told me he gave her a b12 shot as an excuse for her wild aggression (she was never given b12). So he's out.

The one I'm with now, didn't mention to me anything about getting accurate results via needle for culture purposes -which seems like something a vet should consider? So now I'm iffy about her and yes, I was annoyed at how long the results seem to be taking. I called earlier and am still waiting. Will probably go in person since I have to go into town anyway, but don't know if it's on the end of the lab they use or what. The other practice in town that my father used to go to with our older dog, were partially involved with the issue that happened with our recent dog. It's a whole story. They are "good". We used them for years, but the particular vet who mostly deals with feline patients there was the one who overlooked something crucial in the case of our dog. The head vet at same practice covered for the emergency clinic owner he had referred us to, despite several things being done wrong including sending us home with discharge papers that significantly differed from what the referring clinic got. As someone whose been on the wrong antibiotic before, I do not want Echo on the wrong stuff. I am inclined to think she has something, because the night after I backed off from being vigilant about hydration, she had a 3 pee in 4 hour evening and they were small pees.

On gabapentin, my vet actually did give me some the day we went in when she had a bad reaction to shots and was being very aggressive/wild. Is there any risk this stuff could harm her, or her organs or she could react badly to it? I googled and it is described as a pretty safe med but I still question. I do not want her stressed like that at the vets -for sure. She also hasn't had the rabies shot and I'd like to avoid her having that, current vet is fine with it... but I get worried about bringing her elsewhere and if she bites what they will do :(

You said she was stressed when you tried to put the shirt back on - does she seem stressed while wearing it?

The shirt is a well thought, intuitive move, but if grooming and potential urinary tract issues are being triggered by stress (VERY common), then the shirt might ultimately make matters worse.
She is fine and her happy usual self once IN the shirt (I managed to get it on while she was eating slurry late last night). She never has had bad reaction to it before, but obviously prefers without it. It's just that she licks the spot red raw and it's not going to heal like that. I don't know what else to do. Especially if I'm not home to keep an eye on her she may bored-lick the heck out of it.
 
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My cat is one of the cats who get stressed too much at the vet and on the way that, every time we go there she gets a health issue afterward. Within the next 2 weeks usually. It's usually a dental flare-up for her as she already has dental issues. Not to say don't take her to the vet or anything, not to make a comment about it at all, just to say some of these health issues might be due to stress and not like it will always be like this.
Yeah the only issue that I don't feel is tied to a going to the vet scenario is the ear that had fur scratched off. That was christmas day, and I have a couple theories as to what might have caused her to do that...but evidently I should have just stayed home with her and observed. I went to the vet initially wanting to make sure there was no inner ear issues or anything fungal/bacterial. But then the shots happened, then she reacted badly, then the fur off her back, then the stress and 15 days getting back to normal and a possible UTI. So all in all, going to the vets made things worse. I'm not saying not to take pets to vets either, but goddamn I just want so badly to find one where the visit and treatment at the least doesn't harm her and where the vet won't LIE to me.


Also about the skin issues, Hima had a wound last year once and another time another lesion the vet said "that was either fungus or an allergic reaction". Both times I tried to follow the instructions and put on the prescribed ointment as much as possible but Hima licked it off, licked off the fur... anyway, they both healed on their own. As long as you keep the area infection-free and if you see sign of abscess taking her to the vet, it should be fine. In our case it just took a long time to totally heal (over two months), that's all.
When you say two months to heal, do you mean fur grown back in as well? So Hima eventually stop licking it so aggressively? I have vetericyn that I have put on it when it was raw, but if I let her go ham on the spot then infection is what I'm worried about.
 

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When you say two months to heal, do you mean fur grown back in as well? So Hima eventually stop licking it so aggressively? I have vetericyn that I have put on it when it was raw, but if I let her go ham on the spot then infection is what I'm worried about.
With one spot the hair never fully grew back but mostly did in like 3 months. With the other “fungus or allergic reaction” lesion, it took 2 months for it to heal and maybe another month for the hair to fukly grow back.

Hima licked the area more when I put ointment on it. That’s partially why I didn’t put anything for long. I got a water-based spray and used it once so far on a tiny spot on her paw and she doesn’t even notice that one. It’s great to help preventing infection.
 
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Ok, got the call back from the vet and the culture did show e-coli bacteria. It was sent in on Thursday so it technically did take 3-4 days (vet is closed Sunday/Mondays). They are prescribing .8cc of an antibiotic called Orbax? I'm of course concerned about side effects as I'm reading it can affect neurological, vision and tendon related things.... anyone use this with their kitty before? I asked about the sterility of doing the culture the way that we did it (home collection), and she said the lab is usually able to differentiate between bacteria that would be from contamination. Is this bullsh*t?

She may or may not have had the reaction she had to the shots because of the penicillin shot, so this vet knows she may be sensitive to that type of antibiotic...but I'm going to confirm this should be safe for her given her history when I stop in in a short while. As well as ask if there is anything I should look out for in the event she does not react well to the antibiotics...what to do....and If this is the safest antibiotic to give her, etc. Tackling actually dosing her with this is going to be....interesting. I may ask if ok to wait until tomorrow and keep hydrating well just so if I give it to her and she reacts not well, it's not happening an hour before they close for the day.

The only emergency clinic I would go to if something happened at night is a 30 minute drive.
 
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Ok, so I asked on pet coach (anyone hear of this? Apparently vets will answer questions online etc), can pay to consult with one even. I chose asking free Qs of course.

So here's my question and answer I was given
And when that got answered I saw this related Q and answer.
I called the other local vet practice (the one that I am a bit uncomfortable with after what happened to our dog) to ask about all this and was told they prefer the needle draw method because of what you mention, Moxie.
I cleaned the plastic box with dish soap/antibacterial and let it sit for a minute before rinsing and setting it up to collect. But I know ecoli is a tough b*tch and understand the contamination issue.

Thing is, this other practice would want to try seeing her first un-medicated before suggesting sedative before visit...and I don't see the point of doing that to her (or my wallet honestly). She will fight a needle and I'm not willing to risk damage to her when I know she won't be cooperative and might bite (again, hasn't had rabies shot which I know this clinic wouldnt like...and I don't want anything bad to happen to her).

If she has had some UTI symptoms and the only bacteria that cultured was E coli (blood work being otherwise fine) should I go ahead with the antibiotic? Or put her through more of this?
 
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