Cat Worse After Going to the Vet

Soroxas

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I just took my 15-year-old cat to the vet last Thursday. He has been suffering from megacolon and arthritis and has been whining when he eats. Poop had also started to cake onto his butt from his long hair, and none of the vets in my area could either help him or take him, so I went to a new vet out of town. He stayed overnight. They half-sedated him so they could groom him, shave him (completely), medicate the sore on his butt from the poop, clean his teeth, and take x-rays. The x-ray machine broke after taking pictures, so I am still waiting to hear back from those results, but she gave him some new arthritis medicine that seems to be working better. All and all, I thought it was a good trip...

However, since coming back, I have noticed a few things that have me worried.

1.) He sleeps... A LOT. Not that he didn't sleep a god bit before, but now he seems to barely be able to stay awake. He barely gets out of bed to go eat and use the bathroom.
2.) As of yesterday, I noticed his chin is wet, as if he's been drooling when he sleeps. It's not excessive, and doesn't happen when he's awake. But I almost wondering if it has something to do with the cleaning or if there is an infection. The vet found absolutely nothing wrong with his mouth or teeth, but the whining seems to be worse.
3.) He is licking at the sore on his butt a lot. He isn't biting, and the vet didn't seem overly concerned with letting him come home without a cone or further medication... but he really licks at it quiet furiously.
4.) Super aggressive. He's not attacking anyone, but he hisses and growls to the point where none of the other cats in the house will come near him anymore. For a day or two, they would not even come into the back room where he stays.

I am super worried. I know he is old, but he is my baby, and I want to do everything I can for him. And I've done so... but it near feels like I'm actually getting any help for him. Any insight anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated. The vet should be calling me today with the x-ray results, so I plan on asking her about all the things I listed above, but in the meanwhile... help?
 

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His drooling could be related to the cleaning, it is quite aggressive. He's not feeling good, so he is hissing and sleeping a lot. The drooling and not feeling the best may be related to his new medicine too, you might ask. Usually, that will disappear when they build up a tolerance, after a week or so. As for his sore, I would apply some cat wound spray, at farm supply stores like Tractor Supply, make sure it is for cats, with a small piece of rag sprayed with the solution. Cats hate the spraying sound so I always soak a rag and apply. It may soothe the area. I have had cats with horrendous wounds and they have never had a cone, so unless he is actively bleeding, I wouldn't worry too much about that.
 
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Soroxas

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His drooling could be related to the cleaning, it is quite aggressive. He's not feeling good, so he is hissing and sleeping a lot. The drooling and not feeling the best may be related to his new medicine too, you might ask. Usually, that will disappear when they build up a tolerance, after a week or so. As for his sore, I would apply some cat wound spray, at farm supply stores like Tractor Supply, make sure it is for cats, with a small piece of rag sprayed with the solution. Cats hate the spraying sound so I always soak a rag and apply. It may soothe the area. I have had cats with horrendous wounds and they have never had a cone, so unless he is actively bleeding, I wouldn't worry too much about that.
Thank you so much for your response. I wondered if the medicine had something to do with the sleeping. It's an 'as needed' medicine. The last dose I gave him was Saturday, so I was hoping if it was the medicine, it would have worn off by now. I also read that completely shaving a cat makes them hotter (oddly enough) and can make them feel very vulnerable. I hated having him shaved, but with the megacolon and the arthritis, he was having so much trouble grooming. It was really a no-win situation.

I'm just hoping it's all related to the overnight stay (which he hasn't done in a long time), the sedative, and the shaving. We can recover from that.
 
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Soroxas

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Update: Called the vet during my lunch break, and she said that he should not still be acting the way he is. I mention possible depression from the shaving, but she didn't think so. No bloodwork was done, and to do bloodwork she would have to sedate him again, which she doesn't want to do since it seems to be having a negative, lasting effect. For now, all I can do is give him the new pills and try to get him to eat. :(

She kept hinting at the 'end of the life cycle,' and I think she was frustrated that I wasn't getting what she was saying... but I was.
 

fionasmom

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As for the shaving, which I understand was necessary....I have had animals, dogs and cats, really react to that, especially if the shaving was very close to the skin. They shaved his entire body? I had assumed that they did blood work when you took him in, my assumption that was incorrect, given all that they did to him. TBH, I am going to make a guess that the shaving has something to do with his mood and possibly his comfort. A cone might make this all worse, and I don't know about a onesie or not if he has sore skin.

If he has any kidney involvement at his age, the medication might not be clearing from his system as quickly as it might in a younger animal.

The end of life hint was uncalled for.
 
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Soroxas

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As for the shaving, which I understand was necessary....I have had animals, dogs and cats, really react to that, especially if the shaving was very close to the skin. They shaved his entire body? I had assumed that they did blood work when you took him in, my assumption that was incorrect, given all that they did to him. TBH, I am going to make a guess that the shaving has something to do with his mood and possibly his comfort. A cone might make this all worse, and I don't know about a onesie or not if he has sore skin.

If he has any kidney involvement at his age, the medication might not be clearing from his system as quickly as it might in a younger animal.

The end of life hint was uncalled for.
I was surprised that no blood work was done either. I have been burned once before by a vet not doing blood work, and it was a horrible flashback to that when she told me.

It was a full body shave, yes, and it is very short. Knowing my cat, I feel like it is effecting him, and I wish it could have been avoided, but I was told that, being that he has megacolon, it would be better to shave him completely. I have major regrets now. I feel like I have failed him horribly when all I was trying to do was help ease his pain.

I was told about 8 years ago that he had some kidney issues, and as a result I've had him potassium powder to help (which seems to have helped). This: VETOQUINOL Epakitin Supplement for Dogs & Cats (Free Shipping) | Chewy

It's the second time she's hinted at that, each time by telling me about her cat who died from megacolon and dementia. I sincerely wish she would not tell me about that anymore. While I understand, it's heartbreaking.
 

fionasmom

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Your vet really needs to lighten up on the hints. Your cat's health is your business, you are trying to take care of him, and you are paying her bill. IMO she should have done bloodwork on a cat his age with some medical concerns.

How to successfully shave a cat

You did the right thing to try to get him cleaned up, so don't beat yourself up. Skin which is irritate or infected from feces is serious as well. I do think that the shaving has thrown him though. How does his skin look? Any abrasions? I wonder if a lightweight onesie would make him feel better. There are any number of products that you can use for irritated skin on a cat if you find that certain places seem raw. It is also possible that his skin is actually fine, but he is just shocked at what he is now missing and he may adapt after a few days. Watch if he starts to lick his skin or bother certain areas.

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Soroxas

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Your vet really needs to lighten up on the hints. Your cat's health is your business, you are trying to take care of him, and you are paying her bill. IMO she should have done bloodwork on a cat his age with some medical concerns.

How to successfully shave a cat

You did the right thing to try to get him cleaned up, so don't beat yourself up. Skin which is irritate or infected from feces is serious as well. I do think that the shaving has thrown him though. How does his skin look? Any abrasions? I wonder if a lightweight onesie would make him feel better. There are any number of products that you can use for irritated skin on a cat if you find that certain places seem raw. It is also possible that his skin is actually fine, but he is just shocked at what he is now missing and he may adapt after a few days. Watch if he starts to lick his skin or bother certain areas.

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This is the CBD oil that I have used. It is organic, as that crop is highly polluted with pesticides which I realize may not be your major concern right now. I never had any seeming improvement or harm using it. Some people do feel that it has been very effective for their animals. I believe that Petsmart sells other brands.
It is short, but the only problem spot is the sore on his tail where the poop was.
20210828_195155.jpg

You can sort of see it here. That's the best photo I could get without him pitching a fit.

And here is a picture of him when he first got back from the vet.
20210827_213052.jpg

Short shave, but he seemed okay.

But he seems to be getting worse as the days go by.
20210901_182841.jpg

He looks absolutely miserable, and he won't come get his food anymore. I have to bring it to him. He will eat it if I bring it to him... but only then. He doesn't want me to pet him anymore, and he barely responds to me other than to push my hand away when I try to pet him. The vet says I need to just get him to eat and that a trip back to the vet would likely stress him out and make him worse... but this is not better. She also told me she would be sending in some more medicine for him... that was two days ago and I've heard nothing from her or the pharmacy... and still no results from the x-rays they took.........!

I'm just at a complete loss of what to do. I feel like all I've done is make things worse for him, and now my punishment is to just sit here and watch him be sick until he passes, and that is a thought that I cannot cope with.

Arthritis seems like the lesser problem now...
 

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I can see that the entire body cut is not overly short, so maybe that is not as bad as it sounded. But I can see the very irritated spot on the tail. Do you think that spot is enough to be causing some of what you are seeing? Are you putting anything on it like di and bob di and bob suggested? Even triple antibiotic ointment (not the one with the pain reliever) might start to help. If he has licked that raw, he is in a lot of pain.

The only thing I agree with the vet on is that he needs to eat, so keep that going. If he will eat when you bring his food, let him have it his way. But this is bad otherwise...no results from xrays and no medicine sent to you. For a brand new vet, she was out of line in the first place to suggest that the end needed to be considered when she did not know you or him or his history, medical or otherwise. It sounds like she might be following that reasoning though....old sick cat, no rush with anything for him and maybe we won't hear from them again. I would definitely call and ask for the results and for the meds. Plus, it almost sounds as if she does not want to see him again which is very upsetting. If you have no other choice, try to deal with her and get what is owed to you; if there is any chance of seeing another vet not in the same practice, try that as well. He looks miserable.
 
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Soroxas

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I just wanted to give everyone a quick update:

I has to take Sam to the emergency animal hospital Saturday. With all the medicine all these vets had him on... it was awful. He started throwing up and sticking his tongue out. It was clear we needed some help.

Long story, short. The sedative the other vet gave him nearly killed him. The emergency vet was appalled that no blood work was done before sedating him, and that the sedative had caused his kidney levels to rise. He said we weren't quite at renal failure levels (THANK GOOD) and that hospitalizing him would only stress him out and do more harm. So, he put Sam on Hill's k/d Kidney and Mobility for both his kidneys and his arthritis as well as Buprenex to rub on his ear for the pain and Fortiflora to help settle his stomach (since the other vets kept giving him pain medicines that were hurting his stomach). They also put water packs under his skin to help with hydration.

They said it would take a little time before the levels go back to normal. I didn't really start seeing any form of improvement until late Sunday night, and even then, he does have periods where he still looks like he doesn't feel good. I only have a few days left on the medicine before it runs out. I hope he is well enough by then that he won't need the pain meds anymore. On a positive note, he does seem to enjoy the new food and has been eating a lot of it. So his appetite is still there.

He has been through so much in the passed few months, and I love him so much. I hope he is able to have some peace soon.

Anyone else have a cat that has been in a similar situation?
 

fionasmom

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I suppose the good news in all this is that you found an ER vet who was on top of things and was able to head off a disaster. Hopefully the few days left of the meds will be enough to make him feel better. What are you going to do about finding a new vet? Is that an option? Or going back to an older vet?
 
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Soroxas

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I suppose the good news in all this is that you found an ER vet who was on top of things and was able to head off a disaster. Hopefully the few days left of the meds will be enough to make him feel better. What are you going to do about finding a new vet? Is that an option? Or going back to an older vet?
He was having a horrible arthritis flare-up when I checked on him at lunch today. I got home after work and it was even worse. I called the ER vet and he wants to see him back tomorrow at 2 so we can discuss treatment for that. Honestly, if this vet will keep seeing him (as I understand they do regular visits as well), I will keep going to him. Local vets where Iive have not aspired confidence in me.
 

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Well, that is one good solution and I should have thought of that myself. Most ER vets do work at a regular practice or work regular hours someplace and do see regular patients. I would definitely give this vet a chance since he seems concerned, for one thing.
 
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Soroxas

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Well, that is one good solution and I should have thought of that myself. Most ER vets do work at a regular practice or work regular hours someplace and do see regular patients. I would definitely give this vet a chance since he seems concerned, for one thing.
I will definitely be staying with this vet. Over the last couple of months I haven't been able to find a single vet who will do anything more than give my Sam pain medicine that ultimately either doesn't work, he won't take, or causes him stomach issues. In two weeks of going to this new vet, he has single-handedly lowered Sam's kidney levels, found the root cause of the pain (cauda equina), and operated to fix it. The surgery went well, and Sam is in recovery. The vet is confident this surgery will help with the pain.
 

fionasmom

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That is very good news that you have found such a skilled and proactive vet. I am sorry about the extensive surgery that was needed but now Sam can heal and return to his old life.
 
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