Should I be concerned about muscle atrophy?

Annieca2016

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My 9 year old DSH went in for her annual check up yesterday and the vet noticed muscle atrophy in her hips. Said it's not anything to worry about for now as it's just a normal part of aging. But she's my baby and 9 seems really young to me to be experiencing this.

She still ZOOMS and climbs door frames as she did when she was younger. She routinely hops up on my kitchen counters or bathroom vanity to try to convince me to feed her or get in bed for our bedtime routine. She lost about a pound and a half in the past year from getting stairs again (I bought a townhome) and being put on a diet since she was a little chunky. (Girl could hide the pounds like nobody's business though!)

We'll start doing 6 month checkups and the one in December will have blood work. Basically, should I be concerned and do the blood work earlier? Or is the fact she seems perfectly healthy besides the muscle atrophy a sign it's okay and she'll have many, many years of purrs and snuggs ahead of her?
 

Twylasmom

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I would probably go ahead and do bloodwork now. The muscle wasting and weight loss could be related to hyperthyroidism, for example, and it is better to catch that sooner than later. If everything looks good you will have a good baseline for what’s normal as she ages and has subsequent tests.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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I agree with doing blood work now, however, I would like to discuss the change in diet. WHAT did you change to/from? If you lowered the amount of protein she is getting, that can actually cause some muscle loss in cats. They need a lot of animal protein in their diet, and many cat foods these days seem to be lacking there. Some weight loss foods actually lower the amount of protein in the food so they can lower the calories, which, to me, is not as healthy for the cat.
 

IzzysfureverMom

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Many vets recommend at least annual bloodwork starting at 8- 10 years.I also agree with everyone here about doing full blood work now. In 6 month her condition could change significantly and it may or may not be noticable.Better to find issues early and start treatment if needed. What mrsgreenjeens mrsgreenjeens said about diet is also very important as cats require higher animal protein. Weight loss foods and even some senior lack enough protein.
 

BellaBlue82

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I understand your concerns about muscle atrophy. I'm in agreement that blood work sooner might be a good idea as cats are great maskers of issues that go on inside their bodies.
Sadie has low grade atrophy/waste because she's on lifetime steroids for an autoimmune disease, but there are options available for her. Right now we're supplementing with salmon oil as DHA helps with maintaining muscle. There is also a newer supplement on the market, Myos, that is an egg-based protein and specifically designed to help build and maintain muscle in cats. You can always discuss these options with your vet if the lab work shows there are no other underlying conditions causing her atrophy.
Good luck!!
 

BellaBlue82

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The issue with the Myos egg-based protein is it is high in phosphorus. This might not be a good way to increase protein especially if you have a cat with CKD or the potential of CKD. Otherwise, it may be ok though I feel better just providing a higher meat protein food.
Wow, I had no idea about the phosphorus! That is good to know. I haven't experimented with Myos yet and Sadie is luckily not as risk for CKD, but it's still worth keeping in mind. I try to make good choices for her knowing that her body has to process steroids constantly, which is why I try more holistic routes when possible. Thanks for sharing!
 

IzzysfureverMom

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Wow, I had no idea about the phosphorus! That is good to know. I haven't experimented with Myos yet and Sadie is luckily not as risk for CKD, but it's still worth keeping in mind. I try to make good choices for her knowing that her body has to process steroids constantly, which is why I try more holistic routes when possible. Thanks for sharing!
I am pretty much on phosphorus watch with my my 15 year old, as FeebysOwner FeebysOwner said egg whites are a better option. I am sure you are doing everything you can for Sadie, autoimmune diseases can be difficult. Lifetime steroids are tough, but some cats handle that better then others
 
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Annieca2016

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Thank you everyone!

She is a royal terror at the vet so even with 2 mg of gabapentin the night before and the morning of, she still drew blood of the vet tech and bit through the kitty muzzle. Not exactly the plan we were going for! But, blood work came back 100% normal. We're doing a urine test later this month when her sister goes in for her 6 month checkup, but otherwise everything is fine according to the tests.

Diet-wise, she gets 2T of Instinct Raw Boost dry food in the morning, and either 6 oz of American Journey Landmark Chicken in Broth or 5 oz of Weruva Chick Frick a Zee wet a day where the wet is split into two meals. The girls used to get a combined total of 3T dry but they were gaining weight and the vet recommended cutting back a little.

She *hates* Salmon oil and isn't very interested in salmon in general so I'm a bit wary of spending more money on Omega-3s knowing she probably won't eat them. I've started mixing in a sprinkle capsule of Dasuquin (sp?) into some of the wet food to help her joints - her sister was already getting the treats from them but Pompom wouldn't touch them (naturally).
 

IzzysfureverMom

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Thank you everyone!

She is a royal terror at the vet so even with 2 mg of gabapentin the night before and the morning of, she still drew blood of the vet tech and bit through the kitty muzzle. Not exactly the plan we were going for! But, blood work came back 100% normal. We're doing a urine test later this month when her sister goes in for her 6 month checkup, but otherwise everything is fine according to the tests.

Diet-wise, she gets 2T of Instinct Raw Boost dry food in the morning, and either 6 oz of American Journey Landmark Chicken in Broth or 5 oz of Weruva Chick Frick a Zee wet a day where the wet is split into two meals. The girls used to get a combined total of 3T dry but they were gaining weight and the vet recommended cutting back a little.

She *hates* Salmon oil and isn't very interested in salmon in general so I'm a bit wary of spending more money on Omega-3s knowing she probably won't eat them. I've started mixing in a sprinkle capsule of Dasuquin (sp?) into some of the wet food to help her joints - her sister was already getting the treats from them but Pompom wouldn't touch them (naturally).
Salmon oil varies greatly in quality and smell. I use a non salmon brand of fish oil called Nordic Naturals made from sardines and anchovies. There does not appear to be any smell or taste it comes in a small dropper bottle.
I hope the Dasuquin helps her. I find when mine has to be on gabapentin for the vets her hips are even less painful. Most times she did not want her hips touched. Dasuquin works better for her then Cosaquin.
Mine is not a charmer at the vets office either. She does not bite but she will never be up for patient for the year either 😂
 

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She is a royal terror at the vet so even with 2 mg of gabapentin the night before and the morning of, she still drew blood of the vet tech and bit through the kitty muzzle. Not exactly the plan we were going for! But, blood work came back 100% normal. We're doing a urine test later this month when her sister goes in for her 6 month checkup, but otherwise everything is fine according to the tests.
Are you sure it is only 2mg of gabapentin? I realize that the dosage can vary depending on weight, most folks on this site give dosages more like 50 mg or 100mg before vet visits. That might explain why it doesn't help to calm her.
 
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Annieca2016

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Are you sure it is only 2mg of gabapentin? I realize that the dosage can vary depending on weight, most folks on this site give dosages more like 50 mg or 100mg before vet visits. That might explain why it doesn't help to calm her.
It might be 2ml - it's a liquid so that makes more sense than 2mg!
 

IzzysfureverMom

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Hi FeebysOwner FeebysOwner . I don't use the liquid form but I think it is 50mg per 1ml as a dosage on labels, (50mg/1ml) A friends cat takes liquid, she just called that is what her label says.Which maybe confusing as your ml to mg formula above is technically correct at 1000. There are 1000 milligrams in a milliliter.
 
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BellaBlue82

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Thank you everyone!

She is a royal terror at the vet so even with 2 mg of gabapentin the night before and the morning of, she still drew blood of the vet tech and bit through the kitty muzzle. Not exactly the plan we were going for! But, blood work came back 100% normal. We're doing a urine test later this month when her sister goes in for her 6 month checkup, but otherwise everything is fine according to the tests.

Diet-wise, she gets 2T of Instinct Raw Boost dry food in the morning, and either 6 oz of American Journey Landmark Chicken in Broth or 5 oz of Weruva Chick Frick a Zee wet a day where the wet is split into two meals. The girls used to get a combined total of 3T dry but they were gaining weight and the vet recommended cutting back a little.

She *hates* Salmon oil and isn't very interested in salmon in general so I'm a bit wary of spending more money on Omega-3s knowing she probably won't eat them. I've started mixing in a sprinkle capsule of Dasuquin (sp?) into some of the wet food to help her joints - her sister was already getting the treats from them but Pompom wouldn't touch them (naturally).
Aw, I can empathize, Sadie isn't a big fan of the vet either lol. After a years worth of blood draws every two weeks it took her almost 2 years to even get used to someone knocking at the door (our vet does house calls.)
I agree with IzzysfureverMom IzzysfureverMom on the salmon oil, sadly you have to do your research and find one that is suitable if you want to try that route. I also use Nordic Naturals for Sadie, and there's a while system of feed dinner, wait a few minutes, then quick dropper delivery, and then treats. She isn't a big fan, but she'll take it because she knows she gets a few freeze dried chicken treats afterwards. 😼 It took a few weeks to get that down pat though. And a few trials of different brands before we found one she "settled" for.

Good luck with everything, I know how unnerving it can be trying to find out what's going on with our babies!! If only we could talk in meows...
 

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Hi FeebysOwner FeebysOwner . I don't use the liquid form but I think it is 50mg per 1ml as a dosage on labels, (50mg/1ml) A friends cat takes liquid, she just called that is what her label says.Which maybe confusing as your ml to mg formula above is technically correct at 1000. There are 1000 milligrams in a milliliter.
1000mg/ml would be an extremely high concentration. 50mg/ml is standard for liquid.
The capsules routinely are either 100 mg per capsule or the larger human size of 300mg per capsule.

mg = strength of medication. ml = volume. To calculate a dose you divide the mg you need by the mg/ml that you have. So, if a solution is 100mg/ml and you need 50mg, you would divide 50 by 100 and that would equal 0.5ml.
Everyone probably knew this already, but just in case.
 
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