Cat unable to be seen at the vet.

mommytobuck

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I have mentioned a few times on here my cat is unable to be seen at the vet.
  1. If I have brought him to the vet... he has been very dangerous to me, to the vet, and himself. Pulling out two nails already. And this is the damage that we know about. It is a drag down fight and I fear that this is the learned response. My cat is very much a creature of habit. So from the moment he realizes he is with the vet he is triggered into acting this way as sort of a habit. He kind of doesn't recognize me anymore. It is all lashing out.
  2. I have had vets out to the house but they have NEVER been able to get any significant examination out of him. He doesn't like me to touch him, never mind strangers. They have put him into a towel and just were not able to keep him still.. (two of them) after a while they gave up out of fear they were hurting him.
  3. They gave me sedation -- gabapentin, to sedate him... I gave him the max dose. While we were sitting around the house he was sleepy.. I thought it would work, but the moment they walked in, it was like his adrenaline picked up and he woke up.. they were not able to do anything with him. It was like he had no gabapentin at all.
  4. My cat is 15 now and eventually the vet told me that it was ok if I wanted to put him down because he would not really be able to receive medical care and with age... he was likely to have problems. They told me they worry about the sudden insane exertion for a normally sedentary cat.
  5. He is having problems.
I would like him to be seen one more time at the vet... but the problem is my vet doesn't want to give anything but gabapentin... she won't say why but I feel like the other drugs are dangerous for older cats.

I am asking if there is any drug that anyone knows about that could work. I would ask the vet for the drug. Personally I feel gabapentin is a very weak drug for sedation. I know people who take gabapentin and some are groggy and some are not. I feel like my cat is just one of those people who does not have a real sedation reaction to the drug.

I have seen 5 to 9 vets in my cat's life. Some were emergency vets. None were able to handle him. I just feel like I have done all that I can do. I have vet insurance for just this reason... so it isn't an issue of money.

The only way my cat could be examined was a knock down fight, followed by a lot of anesthesia. Then they send him home with me and he is a danger to himself... and me. He is so angry and loopy and typically might be bleeding and hurt. I promised myself I will not do that again. I feel like the vets just do not care about him (or me) after the knock down fight. They just want him gone and do not want to have to deal with him anymore. More and more they send him home -- imho -- prematurely. This is dangerous imho for me because if I need to take him back to the vet, I may not be able to - because he is so upset and in pain.

If anyone has any ideas please let me know. I just don't see any alternatives... and feel like I have done the best I can.
 

suzeanna

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My only possible idea is starting him on liquid fluoxetine/prozac which you can mix into wet food at a precise dose -- it can take up to a few weeks to take full effect, so he'd probably have to be on it for at least a month before seeing the doctor. It helps generally with behavioral issues like aggression, anxiety, marking (can Google for more info). Then I would guess you could use gabapentin that same day, too. I'm not sure about how the prozac would be for your kitty though since he's a little old and presumably you don't know his bloodwork numbers. Maybe that's why the vet is hesitant to prescribe other meds like you said? :ohwell: I hope you can figure something out for your little prince. :hearthrob::vibes:
 

silent meowlook

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Has he been to a cat only veterinarian? It can be a total game changer for some cats.
Gabapentin is a good pre visit drug for cats. Where I work we have the owner give 100 to 200 mg 2 hours or so before travel. I don’t know how much you have tried giving.

I have read about some hospitals using Trazadone as well as Gabapentin, but haven’t tried it myself.
It sounds like this is a learned behavior that each time gets worse for him.
Just remember that anything the cat is doing, he is doing out of fear.
I would use plenty of Feliway, ask Vet about upping the dose of Gabapentin, and finding a feline only Veterinarian.
 
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mommytobuck

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Has he been to a cat only veterinarian?
The only one in my area is very far away -- hour trip. That could be very traumatic for me and the cat.

I don’t know how much you have tried giving.
200 mg. The vet said they don't like to go over that. It was also difficult to give him as it was so much. But if you think a higher dose of gabapentin could work.. and not be dangerous .. I will ask. He is 15.6 lbs.

It sounds like this is a learned behavior that each time gets worse for him.
Yes. In a good and bad way my cat is very trainable. He knows my routine and acts accordingly. But now he has become trained when anyone wants to touch him for more than pet to lash out like a crazy thing. It is a trained behavior I don't know how to stop.

I would use plenty of Feliway, ask Vet about upping the dose of Gabapentin, and finding a feline only Veterinarian.
Feliway doesn't do anything on my cat. I wish it did.

I'm not sure about how the prozac would be for your kitty though since he's a little old and presumably you don't know his bloodwork numbers
I do have some numbers from last year (last terrible trip to the emergency er) they were all good. But nothing recently and he seems sick lately.
 

silent meowlook

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I wouldn’t go over 200 mg of Gabapentin.

Try leaving the carrier out in plain site with the door open all the time. Get him used to seeing it and having it there. That way there isn’t the initial fear when you get it out.

what is going on with him now health wise?

Are the Veterinarians you have seen fear free certified and feline friendly practices?
Do they allow you to be with him during the entire procedure?
When you say allot of anesthesia, What do you mean? If he is anesthetize, he won’t be moving. While a cat can over ride sedation with fear, they cannot over ride anesthesia.
It might be worth it to take the 1 hour drive to the cat vet. You could at least try calling and speaking to them. If you did want to see them is there someone who could drive you?
Once the cat is at the hospital, it is easy for them to give him an injection in the muscle that will sedate him enough for an exam and blood draw. If it works with feral cats it will work on him.
You said it was hard to get the Gabapentin in him. Aren’t you just sprinkling it on his food?
Also remember if you are stressed and upset with the situation, he will be too.
I’ve worked with horses. If vets can handle 1,100lbs of not wanting to do something, they can handle or should be able to handle an upset cat. But it never should become any sort of fight with the cat. Never.
Cat comes in and is immediately given sedation in the muscle through the carrier. No fighting or stress.
What area, roughly are you in?
 

Natashan

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My cat is the same! My vet has asked me to give a dose of gabapentin 12 hrs before and then double up the dose 2-3 hrs before a visit. Has worked wonders for my girl. Does leave her super groggy, but she still manages a hiss and a few growls at the vet. It helps relax her enough to be covered up in a towel by the vet (for check ups) and also enough that she handles the dreaded carrier as well.
 
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mommytobuck

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I wouldn’t go over 200 mg of Gabapentin.
Try leaving the carrier out in plain site with the door open all the time. Get him used to seeing it and having it there. That way there isn’t the initial fear when you get it out.
Doesn't work. The moment he is put into the carrier and can't get out. He knows what is going to happen. Sure he might not lose it right away but he will cry the entire time, usually will paw at any hard hole openings, and the moment someone tries to open it and get him out... hiss growl attack.

what is going on with him now health wise?
Limping and he has eye discharge, he looks like he can't tolerate bright light or really look at me. He also has been going number two outside box.

Are the Veterinarians you have seen fear free certified and feline friendly practices?
I don't know where you live but there is nothing like that around me. I also feel like it won't make a difference. He is just not that kind of cat. He doesn't even let me clip his nails unless I sneak up on him when he is sleeping.

Do they allow you to be with him during the entire procedure?
No but we have tried that before and he simply stops recognizing me. I do nothing to assure him. He doesn't even like me touching him but will tolerate it because he has learned that I am not going anyplace. But the vet can't stay in my house for 3 days to convince him he just should give in.

When you say allot of anesthesia, What do you mean? If he is anesthetize, he won’t be moving. While a cat can over ride sedation with fear, they cannot over ride anesthesia.
Kettimine. When he arrives home he can barley stand and is very upset.. so he hurts himself more trying to walk around and feel normal again.

Once the cat is at the hospital, it is easy for them to give him an injection in the muscle that will sedate him enough for an exam and blood draw. If it works with feral cats it will work on him.
But getting him to that point is very difficult and every single time in the last few years, has damaged him. Then, they send him home, damaged and I have to deal with it... at that point.. it is a dangerous situation for me as he is upset and on guard. And I may not be able to get him back to the vet if there is a problem.

You said it was hard to get the Gabapentin in him. Aren’t you just sprinkling it on his food?
There is so much of it for 200 mg... it is more gabapentin then food. He knows - it is a struggle to get him to eat it all.

Cat comes in and is immediately given sedation in the muscle through the carrier. No fighting or stress.
Honestly I don't know what you are talking about. That *should* be the way it is --but there is no vet in my area that has EVER done this. I have heard my cat be thrown out of the carrier into the gas chamber... (glass box) if there was no fighting or stress how does he come back damaged? These *should* happen but they do not, and I can't take one more trip to the vet (and there have been several ) where my cat is returned to me bleeding and so messed up and need to sit with him all day. The vets have lectured me on the carrier being the problem. One said the carrier was too small, I got a bigger one, then they said it was too big. They said the opening at the top was't big enough, I got a plastic box and put holes in it and still my cat came back to me with a bleeding paw. If you are saying the carrier should be a non hard one.. that won't work either as my cat immediately starts scratching at those to get out.

So my choice is damage my cat or don't get him medical care.

And frankly I feel like I can't afford one more *try* especially when I have been going to vets for over 10 years and they have all, all failed. I need something that is 90% likely to work.. not something that maybe possibly could work. I don't mean that to sound like a rejection of your ideas.. it is just that my cat is old now.. and will not shake off a violent fight with a vet as easily as he did when he was younger.
 
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mommytobuck

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My cat is the same! My vet has asked me to give a dose of gabapentin 12 hrs before and then double up the dose 2-3 hrs before a visit. Has worked wonders for my girl. Does leave her super groggy, but she still manages a hiss and a few growls at the vet. It helps relax her enough to be covered up in a towel by the vet (for check ups) and also enough that she handles the dreaded carrier as well.
Ok that might work... the vet just gave me a dose for the visit last time. I was to give it to him at 8:00 AM and they came at 11:00 AM.
 

silent meowlook

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Ok, what you are describing is absolutely horrible. I am so sorry you and your cat have gone through that.
Ketamine sucks and gassing down a cat is barbaric. There are such better options now.
I wouldn’t trust any of the vets who have done that to him and I totally understand why you don’t want him to go back.
I work for a feline only veterinarian. We see cats other vets won’t see.
A cat like yours would come in on Gabapentin. As soon as he arrived you both would go into a quiet dark room with a built in fish tank and we would immediately give an intramuscular injection of pain medication and an amnesiac. He would sit in the dark while that heavily sedated him. Then if anesthesia was needed another intramuscular injection of an anesthesia would be given. We would monitor and do what was needed and then recover him with you until ok to go home. With the amnesiac he wouldn’t remember anything.

I am sad that there are no veterinarians that can help you and your cat, and if I was in your situation I wouldn’t take him in either. Are you in the US?
 
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mommytobuck

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I am sad that there are no veterinarians that can help you and your cat, and if I was in your situation I wouldn’t take him in either. Are you in the US?
I am in the US. The closest cat hospital is about 26 miles away and I don't love it because it is on a busy highway (the noise is not going to help) I have no idea who opens up a cat hospital on a busy highway but there it is. There are two others about 40 miles away.

I also suspect it wouldn't work.

My cat seems to react to the idea of strangers trying to touch him in any forceful way. So even if things smelled nice the moment something tried to paw at him (even me) it would be like pavlov's dog.. Attack! This is his reaction in his own home. Even to me. What happens with me is I just keep following him around and not letting him sleep and giving him that look like - hey I am not going anyplace and eventually he will realize it is worth it to let me do what I want just to get some rest. But it is limited. He has asthma and he is trained that when he is on a certain piece of furniture he has to let me give him the 10 second puff (and then he will get a treat) but you better believe he won't stand for 11 seconds.

Ok so, I think I can give it one more shot. I am on vacation in mid June. I can get a gate, ask the doctor for gabapentin the night before and the day of and bring him in for a visit.

If that doesn't work I feel like I have done everything I can.
 

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There is so much of it for 200 mg... it is more gabapentin then food. He knows - it is a struggle to get him to eat it all.
My Yoshi is on 25mg gabapentin 2xdly for arthritis. I get it in liquid form from a compound pharmacy. It must taste good. Yoshi who always gobbles his food just looked back and forth from me to his food the few times I forgot to put in in. 200mg is a much higher dose but it might be worth asking vet/pharmacy of a way to make it work.
 

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I don't have much to add to this; however, since I work with ferals, I bring in some very wild, never to be domesticated cats to my vet. All of the major TNR programs around here accept cats like that as well as long as they are in a humane trap. I personally bring these cats to my own vet as he is closer and he simply tips the trap to the side and injects them with sedation through the wires of the trap. I have never had one complaint and, believe me, these cats would be seriously dangerous given the chance.
 

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Here are my thoughts... Reach out to your large animal vets. Many vets treat a variety of animals both large and small. Some farms like one vet to come out, vaccinate and examine the cats, dogs, horses, and whatever other animals they happen to have on the property (pigs, donkeys, goats, sheep, emus)...

You could put the cat in the bedroom or bathroom, talk to the vet outside, both walk inside without saying a word, you catch your cat and hold it, the vet sedates the cat, you put the cat down and wait for the sedation to kick in. Then the cat can be properly examined.

For an old cat, that means drawing bloodwork, checking for dental disease, listening to the heart and lungs, palpating the abdomen, checking joint mobility. You can even get x rays if you need them.

They do this all the time with feral cats or large animals.

If the vet cannot get near the cat, could you give the cat an injection yourself? As you could sedate the cat yourself.
 

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My vet has what we call a 'cat crush'. It's a wire cage with a movable flap inside. The cat goes in, the flap comes down and keeps the cat pressed up against the wall of the cage (without hurting it), so it can't turn around to bite or scratch while the vet sedated the animal through injection.

X-rays, blood work ect can then be done safely for all involved.

If he becomes dangerous while recovering from sedation, then it might be an idea to leave him in his carry cage or a playpen until he wakes up gully, and then release him into a room where he can be alone for a while.

Best of luck!
 
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mommytobuck

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If the vet cannot get near the cat, could you give the cat an injection yourself? As you could sedate the cat yourself.
I doubt it. As I mentioned he lets me do things but I am sure an injection would send him running. One thing I had wondered about was if I could have the "at home vet" inject him, here at home and take him into the office for exam.

But unfortunately the vets imho didn't want to do that. They said it would be dangerous to do that outside of the office. I am also not sure it would work as the only time they got off an injection for him it was a vaccine and my cat managed to get free right after and under the bed. They gave up.

The wire trap cage imho would be dangerous for my cat. The issue is my cat wildly lashing out with his claws and I suspect that is how he lost two claws over the last few years. His most safe carrier was a plastic storage container with holes in it because the cat lashing at it has less likely hood of ripping out a claw. I have had a cats that got smart about stopping after a few lashes they just realized they were only hurting themselves. This cat seems not to have that... he just lashes out -- no matter what the consequences.

I have a question... if this sedation is "so easy" it seems like the vets I have seen have never tried it before. Many times the vet told me it was a gas they were giving him and many times it seemed obvious he hurt his claw being put in the chamber / pulled out of the carrier.

If he becomes dangerous while recovering from sedation, then it might be an idea to leave him in his carry cage or a playpen until he wakes up gully, and then release him into a room where he can be alone for a while.
I did that last time but when he got out into the room he was highly stressed and terrified because he felt different. And IMHO it takes a long time for kettimine to wear off. He had to be let out of the cage because was trying to get it open with his paws... He paced around the room on a paw that had been ripped out. I was lucky that it healed. He was drooling and trying to jump up on things and kept falling. He kept digging at the door trying to get out. He even growled at himself several times because he was so disoriented. It was a horrible experience. I feel l shouldn't have to deal with that but imho vets never keep my cat long enough. IMHO because they don't want to deal with all the issues either.
 

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I get your frustration with the vets, I truly do. But I also get their side of things. Vets deal with a lot in a day, and the risk posed to their health on a day-to-day basis is huge. Just as you don't like having to deal with his behaviour when he is recovering, neither do they. As his owner, you have accepted the responsibility to care for him, at his best and at his worst. As a vet, they have an obligation to treat his illnesses at your request. Not to risk their own wellbeing while trying to deal with his stress-related behaviour. As you know, I'm sure, cats can do some serious damage. There truly is only so much they can do, and the rest unfortunately has to be up to you.
 
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mommytobuck

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I get your frustration with the vets, I truly do. But I also get their side of things. Vets deal with a lot in a day, and the risk posed to their health on a day-to-day basis is huge. Just as you don't like having to deal with his behaviour when he is recovering, neither do they. As his owner, you have accepted the responsibility to care for him, at his best and at his worst.
They made him worse. They owe me an obligation to care for what they did until such time that he is safe to come home to me. Or do not use those drugs. Period. They used to do this.. now they do not.

If it is up to me.. then perhaps I will keep doing what I am doing... and not taking him to the vet. When all owners start feeling this way their profession may shrink up.
 
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mommytobuck

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I had an idea.. thought I would share. I had to put the collar on my cat for an eye issue. But when he gets the collar he is very discombobulated and is not his normal spry self. Like he misses the litter box and is sort of unable to see me coming up behind him.

I think he wouldn't really be able to react well to someone taking off the top of the carrier case or even me picking him up and putting him in the carrier with the collar on.

I might have to take him in soon to the vet I am considering leaving the collar on him and combining that with Gabapentin.
 
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