Sassy - 19yr Old Domestic Short Hair - Appetite Update + Skin Abscess Recurrence?

miguel99nyc

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Hello everyone,

I had about 3 pages of responses back to Sassy's appetite recently dating back to December of 2020 around the last time I had posted.

As of July 2021, in short, she has maintained this schedule of eating nearly every 3-4 hours. Not sure if it was determined because of her age or if it was a signal for me to take her to the vet - I opted not for visit vet in the months after because she wasn't looking sick and just seemed scattered on and off days. Over time, from January of this year and about until March, I figured this is just her new self, of eating more frequently but smaller quantities throughout the day, still totaling her approximate calorie intake as it was prior where she was just eating 2-3 times a day at most. Now its about 6-7 times a day, including and painfully overnight where she'd wake me up each time around 2am, 5am and then 8am approximately to eat...It's been tough but hanging in there. This is my first elderly cat so still not 100% sure if this is the norm for an older cat but I've accepted it since my last thread post about this issue since I didn't see any other health issue arise other than smaller meals more frequent eating. Now a days, she still may have an off day or two consecutive like maybe once a month, but overall she seems fine. Even with the loss of my other cat last November, she has surely taken command as being the lone cat - she greets us at door coming back from work, especially me. She follows me everywhere even sits next to me at dinner time and sleeps on my dinner table chair too! She has been definitely much more vocal then back in past with other cats being around. She used to be so quite, but now she cries for attention and such, its like a reinvigorated cat. The transformation/change of her since Charlie's passing is shocking, a complete 180 difference from being such a quite and sleepy cat to walking around freely, sleeping where she wants and such.

Now I had also posted maybe about 2 years ago or so about some skin inflammation issue she had. We took her to the vet and was deemed as skin abscess I believe. All I recall was vet examined her, drained the pus out and just gave us some cream to put into that hole that was left. She had a cone on as well for few weeks which was quite stressful. Over time it healed rather slowly...to the point where I stopped checking after maybe a month or so because her hair had grown further around the area and no hole was left to be seen. Vet had mentioned it probably took a while to heal because of her age and that the skin would heal from inside out. So that part made sense as the hole slowly filled out. Attached pictures with 2019 name are the pics of her healing back then.

Now yesterday I was brushing her, and felt a lump in that area. Upon closer look, I noticed it was that hole area again but this large yellowish/black lump shiny was seen sticking out from hole but it was like 99% detached? It looks rather disgusting and it did come out as I used a qtip to remove it. Then I saw her fresh skin under that ball and where her abscess was once before and now looks like a crater. Not a deep hole...but a crater and I guess the new skin that regenerated back then filled in? I never paid attention in the past year or so and she never really licked it or scratched it. Back in 2019 it was more noticeable because it was red, much large swelling and alot more hair was missing and pus was coming out. this time I tried squeezing out with qtips that crater gently but nothing comes out. So now I'm not sure what that yellow ball was or how it formed but it was definitely connected to that crater of her previous abscess and was just about to comes out probably from the brushing.

Any thoughts? Do such abscess recur? I'd take her to vet but I didnt notice any swelling, just her skin seemed like kinda torn around that crater and was probably forming to that yellow mass that was coming out already. The 2021 pictures are from today and the 2019 is from when the first issue arose with swelling and pus.

Thank You
 

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fionasmom

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I would take Sassy to the vet on both accounts; the frequent desire for food which is now occurring during the night, and also for a recheck and update on the abscess.

You could leave food out overnight for her to nibble on, but I would still have concerns about her desire for very frequent meals. The fact that her weight is normal may or may not be a good sign. I am not trying to scare you, but I would rather have the vet rule out conditions like diabetes or hyperthyroidism, especially as she ages.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. I would at a minimum send pics to the vet for assessment. I am not a vet, but wondering if there is a tumor behind this issue - despite the lengthy timeline between recurrences.

The eating in small amounts, but frequently, reminds of what I am wondering is going on with Feeby (~17yo), as it has just been identified that she apparently had fluid in her chest cavity - diagnosis as yet TBD. She wants to eat, but very small amounts at a time, which leads me to think that she has a limited amount of space to enable her to eat much in one sitting. Still trying to figure out if this is or is not tied to her hyperthyroidism. Sorry if some of Sassy's issues were explained in your previous thread - I know how hard it is to communicate what you want with so many things going on.

Edit: Much of the other things you describe about Sassy also fit Feeby -the vocalizations for example, as well as the following me around.
 
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miguel99nyc

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Hi. I would at a minimum send pics to the vet for assessment. I am not a vet, but wondering if there is a tumor behind this issue - despite the lengthy timeline between recurrences.

The eating in small amounts, but frequently, reminds of what I am wondering is going on with Feeby (~17yo), as it has just been identified that she apparently had fluid in her chest cavity - diagnosis as yet TBD. She wants to eat, but very small amounts at a time, which leads me to think that she has a limited amount of space to enable her to eat much in one sitting. Still trying to figure out if this is or is not tied to her hyperthyroidism. Sorry if some of Sassy's issues were explained in your previous thread - I know how hard it is to communicate what you want with so many things going on.
Hello there.

Yes I plan on sending pics over tomorrow for some kind of assesement. I mean I can't recall if they did xrays on her back with this skin issue 2 years ago...but I do certainly remember her having that whole area red and quite swollen initially. After vet drained it all out squeezing it out the pus, a large hole was visible, like a tunnel in her flesh. Rather nasty, kind of reminded me of my brother skin issue he had himself - like a large boil which after draining the pus a hole was left over until it healed.The vet deemed it as skin abscess back then.

Problem is as time went by since 2 years ago, while it was filling out her skin hole slowly but surely, I think I stopped at one time because we had stopped the cream as the vet deemed it was healed enough that cream was not needed. Cone was off, her hair began to regrow and I guess it never leaked after. I felt like I had checked maybe a month or two ago when I brushed her and noticed her abscess, no pus or anything but the crater was visible but with flesh filled in. I had thought the skin would just completely re-seal and be like clean, but seems like till now that crater remained with just that hole in flesh filled in. I thought maybe I over brushed her in that area at times though I always did my best to avoid that area in recent past, maybe i scratched it accidentally and got infected? She does have quite a bit of clunked up hair - matted hair. She developed this like maybe several months ago I noticed. So over time I use this specific brush and it takes it off after several brushings. I read matting of hair can be a health issue too - but as it was several months ago, I couldn't get into vet to be with her because of Covid. However now I think they are letting owners in finally so Im definitely considering a visit.

Yeah she isn't eating really like large or larger amounts then say when she started doing this back in December 2020, she just kind of splitted up her normal amount to lesser amounts but more meals. Each time she seems fine and looks like she wants to eat and eats well each sitting which is why since December 2020, I've adjusted myself to feeding her as she would request. I had thought, because she became the lone cat after November 2020, she felt more relaxed and noticed we paid more attention to her now so her behavior changed in a way to sort of train us to feed her when she wanted. It didn't start like like Suddenly - one day she just had her normal 2 meals in a day, then the next 5-6 meals. It progressed slowly from December through about February and perhaps she got used to me feeding her treats/cookies overnight that she got like, trained that way? And without the prescence of any other cats like it was in her life the past 16 years, she just now feels like she's free in some way. I did read up back around January/February about possiblity being diabetes or Hyperthyroidism but her last values back in 2019 were completely normal. Not sure if that's something that acts up within a year or so. Her eating habits changed primarily after my last other cat had passed so I thought that was maybe the issue that changed her.

Because she'd been eating her near normal amounts if not slightly higher (though always consistent every day) which I thought was fine. She had some vomiting lately of just clear liquid after drinking water, maybe like 2-3 times in the past month but never her food or anything. At same time, another reason why I thought she changed/adapted to this smaller meals because she seems to eat roughly at the same times every day as she has been for the past....6-7 months. It would be as follows:

2-4am approx: - I give her like two spoons fulls approx of dry food only. She eats and finishes it usually.
5-6am approx: - She eats about 1-2oz of her 3oz Fancy Feast Gravy canned food with a few bits of dry food. She loves combining it both.
8-9am approx: Remaining leftover of her 3oz can though rarely finishes it leaves about a spoonful of wet food or even just bests 1.5oz of the 3 oz total. Prior to December 2020 with other cat around, she would just eat once at around 7am that 3oz can - nearly all of it one shot. But she then split it into two.
Then sleeps for a while....4-5 hours approx.
1pm-2pm: I'd give her 1/3 of her 5.5oz Friskies can with some dry food.
4-6pm: Id give her 1/3 of leftover Friskies can with some dry food.
9-10pm: Id give her remaining 1/3 of Friskies can - never finishes entire can 5.5oz but she never did even prior. She would eat basically one dinner meal previously , half of 5.5oz can at our own dinner time with some cookies but that's it.

The thing is, as she became the lone cat, and i wanted her to eat since some days back around November/December 2020 she would have a finnicky appetite, she would come crying to me kindly and just sits around my chair - I was like " oh you want food Sassy?" id give her cookies and she'd eat it. Then Id start giving her early dinner I remember instead at 8pm dinner, I began feeding her at 5pm dinner when Id get home from work(december 2020), she'd enjoy her food - eat it, little less then normal amount then go sleep. Then she'd wake up around 9 or 10pm, cry again looking wanting to eat, so id give her leftover food and she'd eat again little. Then I think slept all the way through the night. Then towards end of December, in middle of snowstorm, I had waken up early to dig out my car at 5am, she had woken up too and seemed like she wanted to eat, so thats when I gave her bit of her 3oz canned food. December 17th 2020 I rememebr exact haha. She ate. I cleaned out car, dug it out, took family members to work and got back home. Then later that morning she asked for food again, I was like great! Gave her bit more of her 3oz can and I think she finished it around 9am or so. Then I think from there, I think she got used to, or trained me that everytime she came to me at my desk to cry for food, she'd thought shed get food and she did. So over time it became bit more frequent where it was every 3-4hours approximately until it remained that way since like January until today. So I believed it was just behavior issue as that is all I saw from her in recent months where she adjusted to smaller meals, and only noticed the matting of her hair in recent month or so.

Fast Forward now though to say since beginning of July this month, eating schedule had to change unfortunately becausae my brother would be one feeding her small amount of dry food during day/lunch time when Id be at work. But now he gotcalled into work again full time, so Sassy is practically alone from 8am-4pm. I was nervous a bit because she had gotten used to eating every 3-4hours. But remarkably she readjusted as well so then her last meal would be around 7-8am of 3oz canned food and now she sleeps for a good 4-6 hours, at least until around maybe 12 or 1pm. After I guess she drinks some water and walks around...but by time i get home from work or whomever gets home from work first around 4pm, shes there at door greeting us kindly, petting us and walks to our room. She sits and waits for food so now I begin giving her 5.5oz can as of aroudn 4pm for her first dinne rmeal. THen around 7pm and then 10-11pm. It doesnt seem like shes desparate for food either, she either way sits patiently and waits for me to feed her by my desk in my room or in brother room. So she readapted going on for hours longer without food again like it was years passed before Covid, when she was alone with Charlie with no food and waited - though in past she would sleep like..for 8-10 hours! Now she wakes up more frequently and got used to asking for food each time she wakes up so I feel like she trained me to ask for food.

I want to take her to vet, but then I fear she will change again and lose that appetite she has going. I know she needs at least blood work done to check on her CKD and overall health but, I just hesitate, its not easy sadly.
 

fionasmom

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I see what you mean about a possible feeding schedule change, plus the loss of your other cat, may have changed her eating pattern without an underlying cause....which would be great of course. I would still monitor this though, along with the abscess, and err on the side of caution if you need a vet visit. She is probably fine all day alone and does exactly what you think which is to eat a little and sleep.
 

FeebysOwner

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I did read up back around January/February about possiblity being diabetes or Hyperthyroidism but her last values back in 2019 were completely normal. Not sure if that's something that acts up within a year or so. Her eating habits changed primarily after my last other cat had passed so I thought that was maybe the issue that changed her.
Values can change in that timeline for sure. Feeby's blood test results were pretty much within reason in 2019. Then, because of COVID she wasn't tested again until a year later, and that is when the hyperthyroidism reared its ugly head. Since, then some CKD issues are showing up.

Sassy's eating patterns aren't all that different from Feeby's, and I do think some of that just has to do with aging.

Have you ever considered an in home vet/tech for a blood draw? The test results could be reviewed before any decision would have to be made on an actual vet visit. Ask your vet if there is a way to do this.
 
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