Senior Cat w/ IBD and Leg Weakness - no kidney issues

kittygirl123

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
89
Purraise
47
Our kitty is between 17 and 20 not sure as she is a rescue
Long history of IBD diarrhea so on prednisone for a few years (5mg) she is 7pd 9oz
Her sr profile (as always) comes back good, kidneys and all. Had done one 3 months ago and was the same but asked to repeat based on worsening leg weakness. This time she did have "slightly" low potassium but the finicky eater will not take the powder nor groom the gel off of her no matter what. So not sure how to get it in her.

No diabetes etc. Nothing obvious on x rays of hips/stomach/legs.
Our lovely vet consulted with the neurologist and he said perhaps an ultrasound but this is a SUPER high stress rescue AND our vet said "you can't really put her under anesthesia at her age so if you find out something requires surgery, there is that to consider". We are just not sure if there is a mass or something that could be contributing to the weakness. But the stress alone is hard on her and the ultrasound is $500 to get news we can't operate? Or?
We tried Gabapentin for her pain but even a baby dose made her stumble more (causes sleepiness). Still on steroid, we tried another med and her legs got worse. So sad.
She is eating, playful and loving but A LOT more vocal and so wish I had a pet communicator to tell me if in pain. :(
She still jumps but fumbles. Thanks for your thoughts.
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
22,151
Purraise
32,633
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
Could this be a result of long-term use of Pred? Maybe affiliated with a heart issue, or hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings)? Both of these would require testing separate from basic blood work. EKG./ECG for heart, to start off with. An ultrasound could identify enlarged adrenal glands which would help point to Cushings, but there are other tests as well. I also think Cushings can occur without diabetes. I believe both of these conditions can, for the most part, be reversed, if caused by steroid use. Which leads me to my next question -

What about switching to Budesonide which works on IBD as well but tends to have fewer side effects than Pred, like heart issues and diabetes because it focuses solely on the intestinal tract. Worth asking about.
 
Last edited:
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

kittygirl123

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
89
Purraise
47
Thank you so much this is a great suggestion. Did not know kitties could get Cushings. She definitely does not have diabetes.
The challenge with stopping the prednisone or switching as it does appear to actually help her pain and vet says if there is a mass or cancer it helps shrink tumors. Not sure if the other med does but sounds like not if focuses on intestinal track.
 

silent meowlook

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
3,306
Purraise
6,181
I don’t know that I would subject her to more testing if she was my cat. That is considering how stressed she gets.
Do you know how to check her hydration? Gently pull the skin up above the shoulders and count how long it takes to go back to normal.
It could also be low potassium causing the weakness.
Cushings disease is not common in cats. Symptoms would be excessive thirst and a pot bellied appearance. They can also have very fragile skin that tears easily.
Make sure you give the Prednisolone at night. It is better metabolized that way. You can also discuss with your vet giving it every other day or giving for 2 night, then skip a night and then give for 2 more nights. But discuss all this with your vet.
The other thing is to look at the phosphorus levels on the previous blood work. A high phosphorus level will make your catfeel unwell.

I have an ex feral cat that literally stresses so much with the vet, that I rarely take her. She is also on Prednisolone, but she is on it every other day now. That is down from twice a day when I first started giving it to her 3 years ago.

I am not a vet and these are only some ideas of what I would do if she was my cat. Obviously discuss anything and everything with your vet before making any changes.
I would:
Make sure she is hydrated. If she is dehydrated, supplement with Subcutaneous fluids at home. Small amounts at a time as you can always give more but if you give to much she is in trouble. I give my own cat 50 mls at a time usually every other day being sure all the previous fluids have been absorbed.

Vitamin B12 injection, can go right into the fluid line, so no additional needle stick. Vit B12 can help the appetite and most cats with any GI disease need it supplemented. Yes, testing first is ideal, but it is a water soluble vitamin so if not needed the body will get rid of it.

Ask the vet for a small 1 or 3 cc syringe for the potassium gel and sneak up on her and just squirt it in her mouth. She will spit some of it out but will also get some as well. This is what I have to do with my cat.

The next time she is at the hospital, have them check a blood pressure. This should be done in the exam room with you there to keep her as relaxed as possible.

Make sure she eats. Syringe feeding a cat is hard and stressful to all involved, especially the cat and you run the risk of them aspirating on the food. If she isn’t eating enough, ask for an appetite stimulant. There is a gel available you just put on her ear. Just no matter what, don’t make eating time stressful for her. Some cats can easily develop a food aversion if they start to relate to food as a bad time.

Make sure there are plenty of places she can drink without going out of her way.

My cat also is drugged for days after a small dose of Gabapentin, so I avoid it.

Hope some of this helps.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

kittygirl123

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
89
Purraise
47
I don’t know that I would subject her to more testing if she was my cat. That is considering how stressed she gets.
Do you know how to check her hydration? Gently pull the skin up above the shoulders and count how long it takes to go back to normal.
It could also be low potassium causing the weakness.
Cushings disease is not common in cats. Symptoms would be excessive thirst and a pot bellied appearance. They can also have very fragile skin that tears easily.
Make sure you give the Prednisolone at night. It is better metabolized that way. You can also discuss with your vet giving it every other day or giving for 2 night, then skip a night and then give for 2 more nights. But discuss all this with your vet.
The other thing is to look at the phosphorus levels on the previous blood work. A high phosphorus level will make your catfeel unwell.

I have an ex feral cat that literally stresses so much with the vet, that I rarely take her. She is also on Prednisolone, but she is on it every other day now. That is down from twice a day when I first started giving it to her 3 years ago.

I am not a vet and these are only some ideas of what I would do if she was my cat. Obviously discuss anything and everything with your vet before making any changes.
I would:
Make sure she is hydrated. If she is dehydrated, supplement with Subcutaneous fluids at home. Small amounts at a time as you can always give more but if you give to much she is in trouble. I give my own cat 50 mls at a time usually every other day being sure all the previous fluids have been absorbed.

Vitamin B12 injection, can go right into the fluid line, so no additional needle stick. Vit B12 can help the appetite and most cats with any GI disease need it supplemented. Yes, testing first is ideal, but it is a water soluble vitamin so if not needed the body will get rid of it.

Ask the vet for a small 1 or 3 cc syringe for the potassium gel and sneak up on her and just squirt it in her mouth. She will spit some of it out but will also get some as well. This is what I have to do with my cat.

The next time she is at the hospital, have them check a blood pressure. This should be done in the exam room with you there to keep her as relaxed as possible.

Make sure she eats. Syringe feeding a cat is hard and stressful to all involved, especially the cat and you run the risk of them aspirating on the food. If she isn’t eating enough, ask for an appetite stimulant. There is a gel available you just put on her ear. Just no matter what, don’t make eating time stressful for her. Some cats can easily develop a food aversion if they start to relate to food as a bad time.

Make sure there are plenty of places she can drink without going out of her way.

My cat also is drugged for days after a small dose of Gabapentin, so I avoid it.

Hope some of this helps.

Thank you so much!
She is not dehydrated I check often but is CONSTANTLY meowing her deep guttural meow (nothing new) but is very restless, cannot sleep long. Eats,drinks etc but stumbling on steps and breaking my heard. Called neurology and they said MRI is $4k And needs anesthetisia so neurologist is out if thats what they do. May consider the ultrasound as i feel the constant meowing is her telling me in pain. :( Good ideas on switching Pred to night, assuming she doesn't keep me up all night.
Can i buy B12 and inject her? I give her oral now "in case". Thanks!
 

silent meowlook

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
3,306
Purraise
6,181
Hi. You can buy the B12 but I would still talk to your vet about it. The injectable is good because if there is a problem with absorbing through the GI tract.
I would still seek a consult with an internal medicine specialist.
The meowing is concerning if she doesn’t always do that.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9

kittygirl123

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
89
Purraise
47
Hi. You can buy the B12 but I would still talk to your vet about it. The injectable is good because if there is a problem with absorbing through the GI tract.
I would still seek a consult with an internal medicine specialist.
The meowing is concerning if she doesn’t always do that.
She has always been super loud but it is weird, we thought they left part of an ovary in many years ago and she sounds like in heat but not quite as bad but it was always too risky to explore on her due to GI issues. Could be that, but you would think her ovaries would burn out by now. The meowing doesnt concern as much as the wobbly back legs and her nails are out of control.
 

stephanietx

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
Messages
14,726
Purraise
3,447
Location
Texas
My old lady kitty wasn't a fan of potassium powder either. We ended up mixing into either baby food or tuna juice. I would open a can of tuna and drain the juice into a bowl. I'd then freeze it in a zip top bag and lay it flat in the freezer. Once frozen, I'd break it into chunks and pieces. When it was time for her meds, I'd put a little bit of the froze juice on a plate, let it melt, then mix in the powder and she'd eat it like a champ.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Devotee
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
39,156
Purraise
53,696
Location
Colorado US
I'd then freeze it in a zip top bag and lay it flat in the freezer. Once frozen, I'd break it into chunks and pieces. When it was time for her meds, I'd put a little bit of the froze juice on a plate, let it melt, then mix in
This is brilliant!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

kittygirl123

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
89
Purraise
47
My old lady kitty wasn't a fan of potassium powder either. We ended up mixing into either baby food or tuna juice. I would open a can of tuna and drain the juice into a bowl. I'd then freeze it in a zip top bag and lay it flat in the freezer. Once frozen, I'd break it into chunks and pieces. When it was time for her meds, I'd put a little bit of the froze juice on a plate, let it melt, then mix in the powder and she'd eat it like a champ.
LOVE THIS! Do you know if can buy the powder online vs vet? I found the gel on Chewy but she hated it so I guess it's not script? Also what did the potassium do for your girl and how long did it take? Thanks tons!
 
Top