I Don't Know What To Do - 15+yo Cat

FeebysOwner

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Feeby is dealing with fleas and is being treated. Short of acting like an older cat who has never had fleas before and was initially freaking out, she is eating/drinking/peeing/pooping pretty normally. She has taken to not wanting her dry food, so she has pretty much been strictly on canned food for the past couple of weeks.

However, today, she did the same thing she did a couple of weeks ago - goes to her litter box and pees a little, gets out of the box, sits by the box for a while and then goes back in and has loose stool. When this occurred two weeks ago, she leaked a bit of reddish tinged fluid outside the box - but no smell. This time, she did the same thing, but before deciding to hide, she had actually discharged a very, very small amount of red blood.

Last time this happened - it was just the one incident and it was gone. However, I did take a fecal sample in for a quick look and the vet found nothing abnormal. She has had a history of UTIs, so I put her back on her usual antibiotic. Not more than 4 days later with her next vet visit, her urine tested clean, no blood/sediment/infection.

I never figured out what caused that one incident on 8/9. This time, I am suspecting that it might be from her eating nothing for the past 4 days other than RC SO canned, because when I went to the store they were out of her Hill's C/D canned.

Is it possible that not having other food to trade off with, and being solely on RC SO canned could cause this? Her poop has been very smelly recently, but I have not actually seen any blood in it, and until today her feces has been fairly well formed.

I will add, that before the flea issue, she had lost 1.5 pounds from April to July. The questions behind this have been left unanswered, as the vet wants to clear up the flea issue first - he thinks it may have been going on a lot longer than we knew (could be?). Her bloodwork in July showed no anemia, but some of the WBC counts were a tad high.

I don't know what to think.
 
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danteshuman

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Try mixing overcooked mushy white rice into her wet food or unflavored baby rice cereal mixed into her wet food. It will ‘stop her up’ as my vet put it. Also some unpasteurized raw goat’s milk or probiotics might help with her diet change.
 

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she had lost 1.5 pounds from April to July. The questions behind this have been left unanswered, as the vet wants to clear up the flea issue first -
Hi! This concerns me, your whole post does and quite a lot actually, from the point of view that I personally think the vet is w-a-y too focused on one thing, and is not looking at the big picture.

Would you be able to get a second opinion?
 
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FeebysOwner

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Hi! This concerns me, your whole post does and quite a lot actually, from the point of view that I personally think the vet is w-a-y too focused on one thing, and is not looking at the big picture.
Would you be able to get a second opinion?
This past vet visit she had gone from 16.0 to 15.9 pounds - a reasonable variance for a 2 week time period. So, I think that is why the vet wanted to focus on the fleas first. I think he thinks too many things are muddying the waters, many of which could be associated to the fleas, and would like to see how she fares after getting rid of the fleas. They have really taken a toll on her both physically and emotionally, as far as I am concerned.

I will have to look for another vet - I like another one in his practice, but I have always preached to others to go to an entirely different practice. I need to follow my own recommendations. It's just really hard after all these years (over 30 years total - his dad for 10 years and him for 20+) to consider he is no longer trustworthy.
 

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to consider he is no longer trustworthy.
I don't know that it is this, so much, just that sometimes a different, fresh set of eyes can see things more clearly, or in a different enough light that something pops out/shows itself :vibes: :heartshape: :crossfingers:
 

danteshuman

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Oh don’t forget vitamin b for her anemia (it can make huge difference in how she absorbs protein.) I’m hoping rice/probiotics/vitamin b/ anti-fishers medicine will get her balanced out so you can find the root cause of her health issues.

If it was my cat I would call the vet now (or Monday provided the rice stopped her bloody runs .... if not I would go to the ER Vet if needed) & get medicine for her runs. I had kittens with bloody runs and the vet prescribed like 1 mm of an over the counter anti-run medicine (but I would call your vet and have them tell you which one.)

My cat? Her next meal would be 1/2 mushy rice (or baby cereal) and 1.2 tuna or her favorite wet food. Just to try to get ahead of her runs. With whole rice I cook the wet food and rice together a bit so the rice soaks over the flavor and mush it up real good. I only did it once in a pinch. The baby rice cereal is best.

:crossfingers: She feels better soon :crossfingers:
 
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FeebysOwner

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Feeby came out of hiding. Edit: I went under the bed and there is NO discharge of any more reddish fluid, or blood.

I went to PetSmart to get her one of her staples that she has been missing for the past week - Hill's C/D canned and to pick up the smallest (still too big) 4 pound bag of Hill's C/D dry. She ate a whole bunch of the dry right off the bat!!!!

So, for one, the dry I had here was stale/contaminated/whatever - and is now in the trash. Next, meal I will give her some canned Hill's C/D and stay away from the RC SO for now.

Oh don’t forget vitamin b for her anemia
Her bloodwork in July showed no anemia, but some of the WBC counts were a tad high.
She wasn't anemic.
If it was my cat I would call the vet now (or Monday provided the rice stopped her bloody runs .... if not I would go to the ER Vet if needed) & get medicine for her runs.
She had one bout of loose stool, followed by some reddish tinted liquid and a bit of blood outside of the litter box, so I am going to wait and see if the RC SO was attributing to that by not giving her anymore of that for the time being.

I hesitate to make changes to her diet in the midst of a potential problem, so I am going to start with what I have done and see where that leads me. Adding changes could just confuse - or, even worsen, the issue.

Thanks for being here for me. Sometimes you just need to let others know what is going on. Hopefully, I can update with good news. But, if not, I know I can count on you guys to help me work through things.
 
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sivyaleah

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I have no clue what could be wrong, at 15 years old, there's a lot of things that could be going on - she is now considered geriatric. Losing that much weight over over such a short time period is extremely concerning and if it were me, I'd be going to another vet for a 2nd opinion at this point. Having lived with an older cat who developed a myriad of illnesses later in life, I'm all to aware that weight loss is a side effect of way too many diseases to name and letting this continue to go undiagnosed isn't the best idea - there surely is a reason and the fleas in all likeliness is NOT the reason.

Late in his life, our old boy got fleas for the first time and we were concerned that that might impact him in some way but the vet said in the grand scheme of things, it was the most minor of his problems and that it would have had to have been an extreme case to lead to anemia (it wasn't - we caught it really quickly).

Has your vet run full blood and urine panels? Looked at kidney values? Blood sugar? Such things as diabetes, hyperthyroid and kidney disease all will cause rapid weight loss and all can be controlled in various degrees and means but all need to be diagnosed via bloodwork.
 

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Remember, a second opinion isn't discounting the first, it's like Furballsmom Furballsmom said, just a new set of eyes to get the bigger picture. We've gotten second (and third) opinions in tough cases, because sometimes vets (even though they're not specialists) see more of some problems than the others and (over time) become a lot better with dealing with eyes and ears than internal medicine (if that makes sense). We got a third opinion from a vet for a very sick animal (after seeing two vets we trusted, but couldn't pinpoint the issue) and they saw the problem like a blinding light. Money well spent, and we still trust the first two vets we saw initially.
I'd be concerned about the weight loss, but our guy (12) with all his problems during his worst phase a few months ago dropped over a pound in a few weeks just because he wasn't feeling his best. (The young tech who weighed him actually tried to hide his weight with her hand while he was on the scale, probably so we wouldn't worry, and I told her I knew he wasn't doing good but needed to know if he'd dropped. And he had.) He's gained it back since then now that he's feeling better.
Do you have her latest (whenever they were taken) blood values and things like that? It might be a good idea to hold onto them for comparison for things in the future (if, say, one thing is running on the high end of normal, it won't be shocking if it's still on the high end of normal in a few months, but if it spikes or drops, you'll have a comparison.)
Geez Louise, when it rains it pours doesn't it my friend? I hope she's feeling much better soon (and you can get some good old R&R as well!) You're taking excellent care of her. All cats should be so lucky.
 

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My old man Salem 14 yrs (almost 15, he retired at my mom’s) is starting to have kidney failure. He lost a lot of weight. Now that the teen kittens are there and he gets wet food 3 times a day (or more) he has gained weight. Eating the kitten dry food for 6 months helped to. We are keeping an eye on it, knowing one day he may need to be put to sleep. Until then we just want him to be happy and loved!

So maybe try kitten dry food & 4 wet food meals a day? If kitten is to Rick you could try a high quality dry mixed 1/2 & 1/2 with kitten to give her a calorie boost. Plus a blood panel can shed some light on what is going on. (We lack the funds/manpower to do diabetes testing/insulin on him ..... I thought he was going to die in a couple of months but he sprung back!)
 
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FeebysOwner

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sivyaleah sivyaleah , 1 bruce 1 1 bruce 1 & danteshuman danteshuman - Thanks!

I am not quite as concerned this minute about the initial 1.5 pound weight loss between 4/23 and 7/10, since this past visit showed only .10 pound loss in a month. We'll see with the next weigh-in if she remains stable or not. She needed to lose weight - just not like that! I am trying to find a suitable scale to buy so I can better monitor her weight at home.

She had a full geriatric blood panel on 4/23 and again on 7/10, including T4 counts both times. All numbers were good - with the exception of two elements of the WBC being elevated on the 7/10 testing. That is when we put her on antibiotics as her urinalysis showed a lot of bacteria. While we didn't re-run blood work on 8/13, her urinalysis came back clean. (Btw, the vet's office emails me the reports so I have them stored on my computer.)

She had another bout with a small bit of loose stool late last night, but otherwise is acting fine and has since used her litter box to pee. As far as I can tell no discharge (or blood). I am waiting for the next BM, in the hopes that getting her off the RC SO has corrected this issue.

With the new bag of dry food, her eating has started to pick up a bit, as she can go back to her 'old' lifestyle of grazing all day long. Still trying to get canned food down her as well, but sadly I know she likes the RC SO a little better than she likes the Hill's C/D.
 
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FeebysOwner

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If a baby scale is more than you want to spend (I don't know, I admittedly haven't looked at prices) you could try a bathroom scale.
We have a bathroom scale, but I have to have my husband around to use it - I can't see past Feeby when holding her in my arms while I am on the scale to read it!!!

Baby/pet scales can be expensive. I have found one for $50, and that might be one of the cheapest I've seen so far, in terms of better reviews. Looking at postal scales, but the bases aren't really big enough to hold a large cat (especially not laying down), despite some of them that go up to 90 pounds.
 

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I can't see past Feeby when holding her in my arms while I am on the scale to read it!!!
lol, me too - I have to sort of sling the Big Guy's upper body over my shoulder and then carefully lean forward so I can see the numbers :lol:.

He wasn't too sure what I was doing the first couple of times but now he's ok with it - it's just another odd thing mama does :thumbsup:
 
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FeebysOwner

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STILL waiting on that next BM...

In the meantime, I am sure if I search for it on this site, I would find info - but, I am being lazy and asking in this thread instead. I know I have seen recommendations about freezing dry food to help preserve it - can you refrigerate it as an alternative?
 
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FeebysOwner

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Frankly, I don't have space in my freezer to store a bag of cat food. But, I could manage space in my refrigerator - just to try to extend it's life/flavor/etc. It may not be necessary, since I am going to stop buying as much at once - but given I just threw out a whole bunch of dry cat food (that was stored/sealed in the original bags in a dark closet), I thought it might be worth at least placing this new bag in the refrigerator.
 
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